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May 11, 2013

Compassion is often measured by how much we spend on welfare and other forms of public assistance and how much wealth redistribution we accomplish....

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May-11-13 5:24 AM

"Compassion is often measured by how much we spend on welfare and other forms of public assistance and how much wealth redistribution we accomplish. Compassion ought to be measured by how many we are able to help lead productive lives." - Phil Underwood


...And, the difference (between these two statements) is....what?

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May-11-13 5:49 AM

Yes, compassion should be in how many people do not need those programs because they are self reliant.

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May-11-13 6:06 AM

Agreed, Phil. And how we help them lead productive lives is helping our most vulnerable find shelter, food, and education and training as a way out of poverty, homelessness, and hunger.

Slashes to these types of programs do nothing to improve the quality of life of the nation as a whole. Poverty breeds crime, drug and alcohol addiction, and much mental and physical illness goes undetected and untreated.

It appears that programs affecting the most vulnerable hit the chopping block first because they are the least likely to vote, do not have lobbyists, or other mouthpieces touting their cause.

So if compassion is measured as you say, Phil, I'd say that right now, and particularly on this board, compassion is lacking.

No one is totally self reliant. No one. Not in this world. Not anymore.

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May-11-13 6:20 AM

Phil, it ought to be both. Some people are incapable, mentally or physically, to work to support themselves. But for those who are able, we ought to be supplying them the tools to work their way up while we are giving them a hand. Doing meaningful public service while collecting assistance is just one way to do that.

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May-11-13 6:31 AM

You are missing the point.

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May-11-13 6:38 AM


The truly handicapped, mentally ill, etc. are not really a part of this discussion. There is no conservative that would deny these people assistance.

This discussion is all about the able-bodied who really need a proverbial "kick" to work again.

First, drug testing for benefits.

Most jobs require a clean drug test. There is no reason we should be tolerating drug use from those consuming taxpayer money.

Work. We do not need public, feel-good jobs. Companies have partnered in the past to hire those receiving assistance. The companies could get a cheap worker, initially, with the same assistance money being part of their pay. The longer they stay on the job, the more the company will pay and less assistance they will get. Over a period of time, there will be no assistance given and the pay from the company will exceed what they previously received from assistance.

If the worker fails to show for work or gets terminated, their assistance is cut.

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May-11-13 6:41 AM


If the company keeps firing these "cheap" workers, they will be out of the program and will repay the state for the costs.

Training. If someone receiving assistance does not have the skills required, they must attend training or lose assistance.

No education training. Taxpayers already provided a free education. We should not pay twice.

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May-11-13 6:49 AM

MrShaman - 5:24 AM

"..And, the difference (between these two statements) is....what?"

The difference is that some people need a hand up and appreciate it.

Then there are the gimmee, gimmee, gimmee people who just want whatever they can get from cradle to grave and don't appreciate it.

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May-11-13 6:53 AM

Erik.. again, nothing personal but you are wrong ..again. The whole notion of drug testing has been tried by conservatives, in order to fit a long standing and preconceived narrative. It's been tried in Florida by Rick Scott, whose wife coincidentally had a financial stake in the mandated testing provider. The results were clear.. those receiving benefits were less likely to be using illegal drugs, so much so in fact that I believe the state may have discontinued the practice. I am working from memory, but I think it was also tried in Indiana and West Virginia, with the same results. This is part of the reason I use the term nonsense when describing many of the tall tales Republicans try to sell, it's simply not true. Much like the notion that cutting taxes for our 'job creators' (noones ever defined this term, BTW) spurs job creation, a study by the CRS disproved that idea.. time for a shower, going to sams club this morning. Just a reminder to all, mother's day is tomorrow..

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May-11-13 6:55 AM

"Compassion ought to be measured by how many we are able to help lead productive lives."

So when are you going to start Phil instead of complaining about the 'forced' wealth redistribution.

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May-11-13 7:10 AM

"First, drug testing for benefits."


Firstly, Florida tried this and found that people who got welfare used drugs at a significantly lower rate than the general population. All Florida did was waste hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on needless tests.

Secondly, end marijuana prohibition NOW.

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May-11-13 7:17 AM

Mr. Reeder, there are already several programs to help those on assistance to get back into the work force. Free job training, free daycare, grants for car purchase/repair, Job Center services. It's that old "you can lead a horse to water..." Many are willing to settle for sitting there waiting for money and food stamps to fall out of the sky.

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May-11-13 7:24 AM

It appears that programs affecting the most vulnerable--sideliner.

Perhaps if we concentrated more on using our resources to enable people to better their lives and get off assistance we would have not only a better society, but also a more prosperous one. That, is truly the great divide. I and those who believe in smaller, less intrusive government want to help the most vulnerable become less so. Liberals and the big govt crowd believe that only govt is capable of running your life and making decisions for you. They believe that you are incapable of bettering yourself and will take from producers and give to you just to keep you enslaved to them.

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May-11-13 7:39 AM

Hi nobud.. I have to say, regarding the last two sentences of your post.. I know many liberals, attend meetings and volunteer and not one has ever expressed a sentiment like the one you described.. just sayin..

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May-11-13 7:55 AM

I second what Bufftrev just said.

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May-11-13 8:22 AM

There are all sorts of programs and other opportunities available for people to better themselves. As a society we should be encouraging people to pursue those opportunities instead of offering them alternatives that give them a reason not to better themselves.

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May-11-13 8:30 AM

Military service is an option available to many young men and women and yet recruiters still work long hours trying to find people to serve their country. I'm tired of seeing well bodied young men and women sitting around complaining of being held back and having to rely on the governments help when they could very well do what myself and millions of other young men and women have done. Perhaps then they could learn a sense of value and discipline and receive some of the best technical training in the world. I'm starting to think that we should require all young men and women to serve at least two years so they can learn much needed skills that are not taught in school or college. I'm tired of listening to the talking heads from both side of the aisle debate how we should resolve the issue of so many that rely on the government to survive. I agree that if the government is providing you money and food then you need to be giving back in some type of public service.

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May-11-13 8:41 AM

GysgtUSMC, xlnt comment

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May-11-13 8:41 AM

Compassion is measured by the amount of time people spend helping others.

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May-11-13 8:42 AM

It's hard to believe that a society can be divided in two and have each side come up with such opposite conclusions about the same issues. Read back on the post on this topic alone. The conservative view is opposite of the liberal view on everything.

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May-11-13 9:01 AM

There will always be some who take advantage of every program out there. Just like there are those who take advantage of "welfare" programs, there are many who take advantage of programs designed to help business, the banking and other financial industries, etc. We saw that with the economic meltdown of '08. There were true thieves in all sorts of industry taking advantage of every opportunity. To single out the poor and with a wide paint brush, paint them all as ignorant, lazy, drug-doing baby-breeders is unfair and just plain false.

Current programs offer few "alternatives that give them a reason not to better themselves." Try living on a welfare check and the food stamp allotment for a single person and tell me that is pays to stay there.

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May-11-13 9:03 AM

Tedeaux, I think the difference is that Libs are ok with just giving a handout, where Repubs prefer to give a hand up.

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May-11-13 9:05 AM

Good letter, Phil.

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May-11-13 9:10 AM

Texas, couldn't have said it better myself, which I think is the point of this post. Who ARE we helping and for what?

Buff brought up the whole job creation myth started by the right in order to have all of us, including the ones least able to do so, sacrifice and give welfare to industry, who in return were to provide jobs and economic growth for our efforts. Hasn't happened and won't. They took the money and ran, hence the continued high unemployment rate. Where are those promised jobs?

So while you get on the poor about stealing from the gov'ment (maybe a $200 per month welfare payment), take the wool from from over your eyes and look at billions siphoned from tax dollars in broken contracts with America.

How did it happen? How is it that we spend so much time kicking the downtrodden, fight among ourselves, etc while the Big Boys are taking home the store? If I was a conspiracy theorist I would say it was in the plan...

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May-11-13 9:11 AM

Excellent comment Tgrammiex4.

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