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Are Entitlements Taken Advantage Of?

OK, I hear all the arguements going on with the federal budget and you hear lots of talk about cutting entitlements. Of course the democrats think that is just a disgusting idea.  I just can’t believe how many different entitlements there are, but also how much Americans get.  Before we go on, let’s get a definition of entitlements from the liberal source itself, Wikipedia.

An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A “right” is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an “entitlement” is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle (“rights”) which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.

In a casual sense, the term “entitlement” refers to a notion or belief that one (or oneself) is deserving of some particular reward or benefit[1]—if given without deeper legal or principled cause, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a “sense of entitlement”).

Most of know about the major entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TANF (Welfare), and Food Stamps.  Let’s not forget unemployment insurance, energy and home assistance.  Nobody argues that these programs aren’t necessary to help those in need, but do those in need either knowingly or unknowingly take advantage of those programs and do they really need it every time they receive benefits?  That is the ultimate question for all us, When do you say WHEN?  When is it too much and when is it too long?

If the Government wants to keep all entitlements long term then they have to start putting some limitations on them and creating  some self-empowerment at the same time.  If yo allow seniors to visit a doctor every time they have a stomach pain that is simply as then you are costing the taxpayers unnecessary funds.  Maybe limit medicare to three visits a year that don’t result in treatment, after that the senior pays for it.  I know the answer to this wild theory will be that we will force seniors from going to hospital and getting sick.  No it won’t.  By 65+ you should know your body and if you go to a doctor for the fourth time and it ends up being treated, you are ok.

Then there are food stamps.  My friends ex-wife gets $526 a month for her and their two kids.  I promise you that if she was making enough money on a budget that she wouldn’t spend more than $400 a month on groceries aka food.  Not soap or dog food, but FOOD.  Why are we paying her $526?  Cut that back to $350.  Make her feed her kids well, but also make her budget what she buys.  With $526 she can buy ribs and other expensive foods she may not buy with her own money.

Unemployment and Social Security are a joke.  Unemployment is suppose to be 6 months, not 2 years.  The plan under social security was, you were suppose to die within 2-5 years after receiving your first payment.  Now seniors are living for 30+ years after receiving social security, it’s not working.

Medicaid should be treated the same as Medicare.  Take care of those who need to be taken care, and don’t let the system be abused.  We all have heard the saying, give a man a fish and he will come back for more.  Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever.  That holds true here.  If you give all  those programs away for free and the people using them have no incentive to limit their use then they will take advantage of the system.

Some quick and easy solutions to saving the government money:

  1. If you give people absolutely free medical care then they will go to the doctor for anything and waste money.  Limit their use or make them pay the $75 doctor visit cost and they will make sure it’s not an upset stomach.
  2. Nearly all dental plans work the same way.  You get 2 cleanings, X-rays and checkups and then you get $1500 after that.  How often do people abuse their dental plans?  I’m not a fan of using the word never, but try hardly ever.
  3. Limit unemployment to 4-6 months.  I know companies pay into this system, but clearly the government subsidizes it.  Put some of that savings into education for displaced works.  Remember, TEACH A MAN TO FISH.
  4. Raise the retirement age of social security.  The longer people work, the less they my need it by saving.  I know it’s unheard of, but if we gave people incentive to save for retirement, they would. Similar to companies matching 401K deposits.  It works!
  5. Let’s  cut Food stamps by 30%.  There is plenty of food that families can buy with $385 a month from the government.  Even with prices going up.  I’ve seen it done.
  6. Cut TANF or welfar by 15%.  Welfare helps those in short-term need, but if you need it longer then 6 months then it’s just keeping you poor and giving you enough money not to have incentive to do better.  By cutting it, you’ll save money and at the same time force families to do more.  Use part of the savings for education and job placement services.

There are my thoughts on entitlements. I don’t want to abuse old people or people in need, but we are all suffering a bit and then government needs to make changes in entitlements and stop the abuse.

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