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Reply #20: Akoto, thank you for giving us that perspective on how some of these programs [View All]

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Akoto, thank you for giving us that perspective on how some of these programs
work--or barely work.

I'm going to be the voice from another angle on this thread. But first let me say that what happened with the woman and her children is tragic and should not have happened. We desperately need to fix our messed-up system of social services.

One of the fixes needs to be the thorough investigation of fraud by people who are using these services but who are either lying about their inability to work/find a job/hold a job and who are gaming the system. Whether or not you believe this is the case, it is true that a lot of money and time is spent on giving aid to people who DO NOT deserve it. I know this because I know people who have gotten money and benefits from the state but who were not disabled, nor were they unable to work. They were simply not interested in being employed and having to go to work on a regular basis. Working a job interfered with their ability to do whatever they wanted to do, so they figured out how to be paid NOT to work. They were not ignorant or dumb people. They are smart enough to learn how to beat the system and secure a steady income for themselves and their kids plus getting housing assistance and medical benefits that the rest of us taxpayers who work for a living have to pay for out of our pockets. They also get free schooling AND college for their kids. No, they are not getting rich, but they live comfortably and you would not know they are 'needy' unless you personally knew them.

This is an epidemic that causes the kinds of tragedies like the one in Texas. People who work in social services know that this is happening because they are not stupid people and they can often tell when someone is playing them. Yet there are not effective mechanisms in place to deter fraud of this nature. So, these workers who have to deal with this on a daily basis can develop a 'bad attitude' toward people they suspect are not on the up-and-up. That is not an excuse, just a reason.

Yes, the fraud is probably a relatively small percentage of the money--although, judging from the number of young people who I know directly or indirectly who are doing this, it may be bigger than I suspect. The problem is that those who are capable and able to contribute are sucking money out of the system that needs to go to people who are truly in need. It also is that these examples undermine the confidence of the rest of us that our tax dollars are being used the way they should be.

I support social services for those who are in need, but not for those who are just trying to take advantage of the system.

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