Then read this blog. The short tale...a woman with two children who went through medical complications and a divorce, and ended up single, very poor ($9,000/year, with two kids), and trying her hardest to improve her life. Oh, her ex...remarried, homeowner, SUV, in the process of remodeling his house, kids by the new marriage, and has been known to send child support in the amount of $14 at times (and $100 when hounded about it).
These are the people social programs are there for. This woman is trying, working her butt off, to improve her life. She attends college, scrimps and saves, forgoes what many of us consider standard items of life (cable, a car, lights in the house during the day, eating out). Ever cut cleaning fluids with water to make 'em go further? Shop at thrift stores for your kid's clothes? Bought food on food stamps?
Someday this determined lady will finish her schooling, and have a good job and income. She's determined. She's not happy about needing help, not thrilled (in fact, she's even embarrassed) about using food stamps. But she does what she must to survive.
I'm confident she will. A read through her blog speaks to a determined individual, one who will survive and come out on top.
But programs that she depends on to survive and improve her lot in life are the very ones that our "compassionate conservatives" would do away with.
I was stationed with a guy at my last command who felt that even people who come to hard times don't rate government help. He was dead set against any "entitlement". He felt his hard-earned money shouldn't be taxed to support those who couldn't support themselves. He favored cutting out all...all...aid to those in need. I related a story I'd heard on NPR about a family, relatively stable with two teenage daughters and two working parents, who were ravaged by the mother's cancer (lost their home, her insurance left them in the cold, kids had to go to work and dad had to take a second job, mom no longer able to work due to illness, savings and investments all gone). I thought it made a good argument for a deserving family for government aid, as well as a good argument for health care reform.
His response...they should have saved money for an eventuality like her cancer. They were irresponsible...why should the rest of us pay (i.e., taxes) to support them. They showed no responsibility for their own lives, so it was their problem.
I thought we were a better society than that. "Compassionate conservatives" show me we are not so enlightened.