It's time to promote more self-sufficiency

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two news items crossed my desk recently. Both seemed to make perfect sense to me - and since both were universally panned by liberals - I find even greater benefit.

Let's start in Michigan. The fine state of Michigan has a unique program that allows nearly all college students, regardless of their financial status, to qualify for food stamps.

Under the federal food stamp program, most college students would be ineligible. But in Michigan, those students become eligible if they are participating in a valid training or employment program. Attending college qualifies you for the program.

But now - because of growing financial concerns - those students are no longer eligible. That means in Michigan alone, 30,000 students were cut from the program saving the state $75 million annually.

The state's Human Services Director said the change is an effort "to change the culture of the state's welfare department and slash tens of millions of dollar in waste, fraud and abuse.

"We want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government," the Director said.

What a grand idea. Promoting self-sufficiency and not government dependency. Now that would be a grand concept that should be adopted by the feds.

We talk tough when it comes to reducing spending. In this one small case in just one state, $75 million in tax dollars are now being put to other purposes.

The other news item comes from across the pond in England. Conservative members of the British government are working on a plan to remove government benefits from those found guilty in the recent riots there. Imagine that!

There are indeed consequences for our actions and in England, those consequences are giving up your government handouts if you disobey the law and participate in the riots and looting.

Maybe we should consider the same consequences for those flash mobs that are plaguing the urban areas. If those kids were to lose their government checks when they broke the law, who knows - they might actually consider their actions first.

Whether England or Michigan or Missouri, we must examine the system of government dependency. We must take care of those truly in need. That is a no-brainer. But at the same time, we must examine those who benefit from our tax dollars who are ineligible or who create problems for society.

What liberals fail to understand is that we conservatives do not oppose providing a safety net to those in need. What chaffs conservatives are the benefits going to those who "game" the system and literally take from the truly needy.

Getting a liberal to acknowledge that reality is next to impossible. And therein, lies the problem.

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