Changing the Name Won’t Change Its Meaning


Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee never ceases to amaze me with how she chooses to see things. I don’t know how things are run or how people live in Houston, TX, the 18th District that she was put in office to represent, but perhaps those people need to reevaluate their standards come election time. According to her the vast majority of Americans hearing the word “welfare” see it as no more than a government handout and don’t want to support any legislation that would only seek to give away more money indefinitely.

Hmm, I find this most interesting on so many levels I hardly know where to begin…

Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of the “legal” term for welfare was never meant to be a permanent way of life? No one aspired to live on welfare for the rest of their life. When I was growing up, being on welfare was not something to be proud of. In fact, people were embarrassed in grocery stores to be handing over food stamps to pay for things. I would see this and think to myself, “whatever I do I don’t want to be on welfare.” And guess what? It worked! From the time I was old enough to work I’ve had a job and done all I needed to do to keep one ever since. To me, welfare was working, in that it prevented me from wanting to feel that embarrassment I saw so many others feeling on a day to day basis.

The government saw this to and solved the problem by replacing those over-sized food stamps with a debit card that looked just like any other bank card. I know they claim it was to make the system easier to keep track of and a better way to get funds to those who need it most, but I have always believed it was to remove that stigma off those on welfare so they would feel comfortable staying on it longer. And guess what? It worked! Now it seems more people are on welfare instead of less and they are also living off of it instead of WANTING to get a job to show their children that there is more to life than collecting money you haven’t earned. And the cycle continues…

But what’s worse is now unemployment benefits are going the way of welfare. While the purpose of this government program is a temporary financial assistance until a job is acquired, many in Washington want to make it permanent. Sheila Jackson Lee calls it “chronic unemployment.” It sounds like a condition that those collecting these handouts cannot help, when it’s really more of a condition that those in our very own government don’t want to help.

The solution to unemployment and welfare is NOT to have more people on it circulating money into the economy. I’m not stupid, nor was I born yesterday. That money being circulated into the economy comes from the taxes of working class Americans. It’s not new money. It’s not a solution, it’s a bigger problem. The answer is to create jobs to get those people off of welfare and unemployment. Wasn’t that the point of those programs anyway? To help until you can help yourself?

What is Rep. Jackson Lee’s solution? Clearly it’s to rename it to a “transitional living fund.”

Do that and working Americans will go on supporting financially those who are more than capable of working, if they had a government who showed that’s what their agenda has been and always will be. Yet, people like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee are wasting our time fighting to make terms like “welfare” and “unemployment” sound nicer to the ear of Americans instead of finding real solutions to putting Americans back to work. Was she put in office by the people of Houston to keep ensure more Americans are out of work, sitting around, collecting government handouts? I’m sure she wants the people in her District and across the United States to work, right? I’m sure she understands that the American Dream should never and can never truly be found through welfare and unemployment benefits. But not until these government officials perpetuating the kind of ideas she has are removed from their positions of power will the poison of “getting everything for nothing” come to an end. Then the freedom to “earn all that you want & need” begin again.


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