Ad­di­tional wel­fare re­form is needed

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - David Kver­a­gas Clarks Sum­mit, Penn­syl­va­nia

In a re­cent let­ter (“A guest worker pro­gram could help,” Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor, Nov. 20 edi­tion), H.K. Miller sup­ports a guest worker sys­tem based on a pro­gram that was in ef­fect dur­ing WWII, and asks why such a pro­gram is not vi­able to­day.

Sim­ply put, things have changed rad­i­cally in the last 60 years.

Back then, most able bod­ied men were in the mil­i­tary, and most able bod­ied women were in the fac­to­ries and other places of em­ploy­ment sup­port­ing the war ef­fort.

To­day, while we are at war it is not any­where near the same scale. Yet we seem to have a short­age of work­ers to fill en­try level and un­skilled po­si­tions.

The an­swer to this sit­u­a­tion is not to al­low for­eign work­ers, even tem­po­rar­ily, into the coun­try.

In­stead we have to ad­dress the pro­grams and mind­set that has evolved in re­cent gen­er­a­tions which al­lows the short­age of le­git­i­mate Amer­i­can work­ers to not only ex­ist but ex­pand.

Over the last sev­eral decades we have im­ple­mented many pro­grams that ac­tu­ally en­cour­age peo­ple not to work. Ten years ago we man­dated nec­es­sary re­stric­tions on some of th­ese so­cial/wel­fare pro­grams, but that was only the first step.

When lim­its were placed on wel­fare, many re­cip­i­ents found jobs and be­gan mak­ing a liv­ing for them­selves. Un­for­tu­nately, many oth­ers sim­ply changed lines at the lo­cal gov­ern­ment of­fice, step­ping from wel­fare to dis­abil­ity, de­spite the fact they have noth­ing wrong with them, be­yond an acute case of sloth.

The next se­ries of re­forms needs to be based on dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit abuse as well as fur­ther re­stric­tions on wel­fare pro­grams. Such changes would in­clude:

No long term (five years over a life­time) dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits for any­one who is not home­bound or in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized. There are mil­lions of Amer­i­cans who claim to be un­able to work but can do vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing but hold a job.

No gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits for any­one who is not a U.S. cit­i­zen or has le­git­i­mately ap­plied for cit­i­zen­ship at least a full year prior to ap­ply­ing for ben­e­fits.

Sub­si­dized hous­ing units will be com­mu­nal (i.e. one kitchen/din­ing area per unit) and will have a five year life­time limit for res­i­dents. Cable/satel­lite TV, per­sonal com­put­ers, video games, etc. as well as per­sonal au­tos would be pro­hib­ited.

The food stamp pro­gram will be lim­ited to the most ba­sic es­sen­tials only.

Es­sen­tially, only when we make wel­fare a true safety net, and take away the abil­ity for so many to treat it as a ham­mock, will we have Amer­i­cans fill­ing the po­si­tions now staffed by il­le­gal or so called guest work­ers.

This sys­tem worked once be­fore, and there is no le­git­i­mate rea­son it can­not do so again.

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