Accountability? Yes, let's have it!

Who's entitled to what -- and are there any strings anymore?

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The term “entitlement” should never have become a four-letter word. In the case of Social Security, for instance, recipients are entitled – after paying into the system their entire working lives.

But today’s entitlement mentality has made the word absolutely obscene.

Take the Florida woman who has 15 kids, 12 of whom were found living with her in a motel room. Her situation became the focus of jaw-dropping outrage on the Internet after she told news cameras that her predicament was society’s fault – even after agencies had chipped in to pay her rent, utilities and even provide her with furniture.

It’s not enough, she says.

“Somebody needs to pay for all my children,” the woman indignantly intones, sweeping her hand over the overpopulated room. “Somebody needs to be held accountable, and they need to pay.”

You will never see a more inappropriate attitude in your life.

But the same entitlement mentality is woven more delicately throughout our society – disguised as a down comforter.

Some, for instance, are expressing outrage or, perhaps, subtlely suggesting you should express it, over a growing movement to require drug testing of those receiving public benefits. The matter came up in Florida, where the state passed a law requiring drug tests of welfare recipients. A judge has put a hold on the law.

More recently, Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston has introduced legislation that would require recipients of federal unemployment benefits to at least be pre-screened for possible drug testing. A Los Angeles Times story on the bill sends a not-so-subtle message to the reader that he or she should be upset by Kingston’s proposal.

So let’s examine this. Should you be outraged?

First, understand that most folks seeking employment these days are subject to possible drug tests. Why should you face a lower standard to be paid not to work?

Second, consider that a great number of unemployed individuals may be unemployable – precisely because of drug use. Kingston says he was inspired to sponsor the bill in question after hearing from an employer in his district that half of job applicants failed a drug test. Why, then, should taxpayers be forced to pay such folks not to work, without any regard for their irresponsibility?

Third, the media want you to believe that requiring drug tests is punitive and mean, when it’s actually the exact opposite. It’s not compassionate to fund someone’s destructive behaviors and habits, and being found out could be the first step in turning their lives around and becoming employable.

Ultimately, though, it comes down to this: Does the Constitution or morality or even compassion require taxpayers to send people, even the unemployed, money without any strings attached, without any expectations?

Of course not.

Indeed, it’s that expectation that ought to bring outrage.

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burninater
9396
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burninater 12/13/11 - 12:31 am
0
0
Drug testing for welfare

Drug testing for welfare eligibility is completely reasonable. But it does nothing to address the lead-in issue, people having children they can't afford.

We need to get better at separating multiple problems out instead of lumping them together and thinking we'll be solving many when we address one.

How do we solve the first issue? State-run orphanages for the children of indigent parents? Forced sterilization? Or just let children starve? Welfare is being used as cheaper than option one and less ethically problematic than options two and three.

Anyone have any ideas of other options? Because drug testing is an entirely separate issue.

KSL
126284
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KSL 12/13/11 - 12:40 am
0
0
burn, I'm old enough to know

burn, I'm old enough to know that not paying for the extra children worked. Male in the picture, let him pay. No benefits. And no benefits for the existing children. It worked quite well when birth control was very difficult to obtain. Now it's a breeze over the counter. Tell them that if they get pregnant, their is a father who should be supporting the child in the picture and their will be no public assistance. Tell the existing male he will also be responsible for the existing kids since he is in the picture and probably enjoying fruits of us taxpayers' labor. Watch how soon this stops happening. I saw it before LBJ. Then I saw what he did to us.

KSL
126284
Points
KSL 12/13/11 - 12:41 am
0
0
I have a solution you

I have a solution you probably won't like. No More Money for them.

KSL
126284
Points
KSL 12/13/11 - 12:43 am
0
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If they come from decent

If they come from decent families, they will do like people used to do, and feed them.

burninater
9396
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burninater 12/13/11 - 01:50 am
0
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KSL, food stamp programs

KSL, food stamp programs started in 1939, so unless you're pushing 90, you never saw that America with the eyes of an adult. Even if that is your age, what you saw did not encompass the entirety of what some people in America experienced. I didn't see it, and have to rely on history. I find it hard to believe that nutrition assistance began in response to a nonexistent problem. I also find it hard to believe that when I see modern starvation in children in countries without nutrition assistance, that none of those families are decent and that none of those families were stricken by crippling poverty despite all of their best efforts.

Maybe the answer is to maintain medical and nutritional programs, but not to provide any other assistance.

When you say I won't like the answer of cutting off all assistance, you misunderstand where I'm coming from. I don't believe in a compassionate god; I don't believe that there can be an elimination of suffering on the earth. There are painful and ugly ways that populations self-regulate when they over-reach their available resources, and that is a part of the natural order.

But it is exceptionally disingenuous to take the position that we should cut off all assistance, and that somehow these children will be fed. Let's be honest in our dialogue. Those calling for the end of entitlements stand up, be bold, say we don't want to pay for this anymore, and we know some children will die as a result. Take responsibility for the consequences of one's beliefs.

itsanotherday
0
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itsanotherday 12/13/11 - 02:08 am
0
0
I will stand up and say it;
Unpublished

I will stand up and say it; yes some children must suffer if we are to ever fix our problems and that is why it will never happen. No one has the fortitude to do what is necessary. Just quit paying for the unwed mothers to have them, and don't pay to feed them. If we find them hungry and unkempt, take them away and put them in orphanages or foster homes until such time the mother has figured out how to care for them. We must break that cycle of high birth rates among those who can least afford it if we have a prayer of getting education on the right track and crime under control. That is simplistic but accurate in theory.

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 12/13/11 - 04:38 am
0
0
"Accountability? Yes, let's

"Accountability? Yes, let's have it!
Who's entitled to what -- and are there any strings anymore?"
I saw this and thought it might be a follow up to yesterday's editorial about Israel discussing its billions of $$$ in US foreign aid. I should have known better.

Riverman1
82181
Points
Riverman1 12/13/11 - 06:02 am
0
0
Burninator, excellent

Burninator, excellent comments. A couple of decades ago when I lived in Washington, DC I wrote a letter to the Washington Post with an idea that was expounded upon with my permission and turned into an opinion piece by one of their writers. State run orphanges was my suggestion.

As with the lady in this editorial, what was happening in Washington was money was being given to parents who kept their children in cheap motels paid for by the state. That's obviously no way for children to be raised. I have no doubt children raised in orphanages are much better off than those raised by inadequate parents in substandard living conditions.

carcraft
25176
Points
carcraft 12/13/11 - 06:28 am
0
0
Channging the welfare system

Channging the welfare system isn't going to happen, it is producing a higher and higher precentage of ignorant American voters. In my life time federal hand outs have gone from being a cause of shame to a celebrated way of life! Florida save millions drug testing.

robaroo
720
Points
robaroo 12/13/11 - 07:48 am
0
0
Wait - this is a Republican

Wait - this is a Republican newspaper. Aren't they supposed to be against all government regulations?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 12/13/11 - 08:32 am
0
0
Unemployment is an insurance

Unemployment is an insurance paid by employee and employer, not an entitlement. How about privatizing it? I dont have car or homeowners insurance from the government... also I have never been unemployed long enough to be on it and I am pretty stable, why do I have to pay in?

Carleton Duvall
6305
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Carleton Duvall 12/13/11 - 08:43 am
0
0
In 1929 when I was four years

In 1929 when I was four years old my parents could no longer afford me.My father was out of work so he and my mother went to live with his parents. I was sent to live with an aunt and her husband to live. Several years later a cousin who had lost both his parents came to live with us. In another year or so my maternal grandfather died so my grandmother and a handicapped daughter moved in with us. Why am I telling you this? I am to make the point that before the federal government decided under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt that they could do a better job than families people took care of their own.. Over the following seventy five years the federal government using our tax dollars has established a welfare system that for many is better than working. Sometimes three and four generations have lived at our expense and, in my opinion, that will never change.The entitlement mind set is too engrained to reverse.

allhans
23524
Points
allhans 12/13/11 - 08:53 am
0
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No. robaroo. Not all. Some

No. robaroo. Not all. Some are necessary for survival.

allhans
23524
Points
allhans 12/13/11 - 08:58 am
0
0
I was raised that we should

I was raised that we should lend help to those who needed it. Not GIVE, but lend a helping hand. Now we seem to be playing a game of give-a-way.
Techfan...You seem to have an obsession with the Jewish race. Have you ever asked yourself what you have against the Jews. My grandchildren celebrate Hanukkah, and not Christmas...but you know what, it doesn't make them one bit less a human being.

KSL
126284
Points
KSL 12/13/11 - 09:02 am
0
0
Burn, food stamps, as such,

Burn, food stamps, as such, did not start in 1939 in Georgia. When I did my first welfare training work (trained by the State of Georgia), they had switched from providing actual surplus food to the food stamp program. I had a client who complained about it. I guess he could no longer sell off his surplus food. I grew up in a community that had a mix of wealthier and not so wealthy people. I don't remember ever knowing of a child that starved to death. And durn, most people stayed married.

KSL
126284
Points
KSL 12/13/11 - 09:04 am
0
0
Taylor B, I have been an

Taylor B, I have been an employee in both Georgia and SC. I have NEVER paid unemployment insurance. The employer pays it and the rate he pays goes up if he had employees who either get laid off or time reduced and use it.

Little Lamb
45281
Points
Little Lamb 12/13/11 - 09:14 am
0
0
Burninater wrote Those

Burninater wrote

Those calling for the end of entitlements stand up, be bold, say we don't want to pay for this anymore, and we know some children will die as a result.

Let us not forget that some children are already dying as a direct result of the EBT program. So, it would be a wash.

augusta citizen
9099
Points
augusta citizen 12/13/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
KSL, you're right. The

KSL, you're right. The employer pays all of the unemployment insurance.

harley_52
22987
Points
harley_52 12/13/11 - 09:50 am
0
0
I'm beginning to think this

I'm beginning to think this next Presidential election may actually turn into a referendum on whether we want a Capitalist or socialist economic system. Whether we really believe in individuals achieving through their own dedication and hard work or whether the achievements of a few are confiscated by the government for distribution to the many who have chosen to take life easy.

Romney is describing the choice as between a "merit based society" and an "entitlement based society." That's a good description.

harley_52
22987
Points
harley_52 12/13/11 - 09:49 am
0
0
KSL said "I have NEVER paid

KSL said "I have NEVER paid unemployment insurance. The employer pays it and the rate he pays goes up if he had employees who either get laid off or time reduced and use it."

Back in the days when I was an employee there used to be payroll deductions for FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) and SUTA (State Unemployment Tax Act). These, along with FICA (Social Security and Medicare) combined to become "Payroll Taxes." These taxes/contributions were shared between the employee/employer, but they were definitely deductions from employee pay checks. Of course Income tax was also deducted, but that was paid by the employee, no the employer. That was a while ago, so I guess things must have changed.

itsanotherday
0
Points
itsanotherday 12/13/11 - 09:56 am
0
0
Anything paid by the company
Unpublished

Anything paid by the company on your behalf is indirectly paid by you. It is the cost of your employment to the employer and would be money that the employer could otherwise pay you directly if you were just contracting to work for them. When my employer looks at me, he doesn't see $XX /year in salary, he sees FICA, Health ins, unemployment ins, etc., etc.

harley_52
22987
Points
harley_52 12/13/11 - 10:00 am
0
0
burninater said "But it is

burninater said "But it is exceptionally disingenuous to take the position that we should cut off all assistance, and that somehow these children will be fed. Let's be honest in our dialogue. Those calling for the end of entitlements stand up, be bold, say we don't want to pay for this anymore, and we know some children will die as a result. Take responsibility for the consequences of one's beliefs."

Wow! What an excellent paragraph. And I agree wholeheartedly.

Let me be the first to say that I do not want to be forced by the Federal Government to pay for the food, medical care, or living expenses necessary to keep alive every child in America regardless the circumstances that put them in such claimed dependence.

Now, can you take the thought contained in your paragraph and give me your honest views on abortion as it relates thereto?

Brad Owens
4287
Points
Brad Owens 12/13/11 - 10:09 am
0
0
burn said, "Maybe the answer

burn said, "Maybe the answer is to maintain medical and nutritional programs, but not to provide any other assistance."

I agree 100% with that.

Brad

harley_52
22987
Points
harley_52 12/13/11 - 10:13 am
0
0
Carleton Duvall said "In 1929

Carleton Duvall said "In 1929 when I was four years old my parents could no longer afford me."

My father was born in 1921 and had a very similar story. He was passed around from relative to relative as he grew up, each raising him along with their own families as time and money would allow. Of course that was in the day when families understood what the term "family" really meant and hadn't yet adopted the notion that "it takes a villiage."

seenitB4
85290
Points
seenitB4 12/13/11 - 10:14 am
0
0
I can't even post on

I can't even post on this...it makes my blood boil...

Somebody needs to pay statement is just over the top..somebody needs to stop having babies..

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 12/13/11 - 10:16 am
0
0
Unless the entitlement

Unless the entitlement mentality cycle is broken, forcing people to work and plan for their own futures again, America will not survive.

Right now, almost 25% of society is living off of the backs of others (15% welfare and ~10% unemployment). This is unsustainable. And there is absolutely no defense for it.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 12/13/11 - 10:17 am
0
0
I hate it when the AC holds

I hate it when the AC holds up a post and then post it later. This I made at 7:43 and it was held and now out of sequence.

In 1929 when I was four years old my parents could no longer afford me.My father was out of work so he and my mother went to live with his parents. I was sent to live with an aunt and her husband to live. Several years later a cousin who had lost both his parents came to live with us. In another year or so my maternal grandfather died so my grandmother and a handicapped daughter moved in with us. Why am I telling you this? I am to make the point that before the federal government decided under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt that they could do a better job than families people took care of their own.. Over the following seventy five years the federal government using our tax dollars has established a welfare system that for many is better than working. Sometimes three and four generations have lived at our expense and, in my opinion, that will never change.The entitlement mind set is too engrained to reverse.

harley_52
22987
Points
harley_52 12/13/11 - 10:24 am
0
0
Carleton, I see the post

Carleton, I see the post twice. Once at 7:43 and again at 9:17.

I liked it both times.

Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 12/13/11 - 10:42 am
0
0
Another personal story if I

Another personal story if I may. During the early sixties I owned and operated a hog farm near Jackson, SC. To supplement feed purchases there were about 300 acres on which corn was grown. This required some farm equipment and a qualified person to operate and maintain it. I found such a person and was paying him $35.00 a week which was over the scale at that time. He came to me about a year after I hired him and gave his notice. I asked him why he was he leaving and offered him a raise if he would stay. He very politely refused saying that he had just learned that he could receive more in welfare than I was offering him. He then said that he would stay if I paid him in cash.
I told him that I could not do that as it was illegal. I lost a very good employee to the taxpayers.

Little Lamb
45281
Points
Little Lamb 12/13/11 - 10:42 am
0
0
Thank you, thank you, thank

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Young Fred. I wanted to respond, but you said exactly what I wanted to, but said it much better.

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