Day by Day

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pauper's Oath?

Would it be considered gauche to offer an uncomfortable topic for discussion?

Back during the Great Depression, anyone asking for help from the Federal Government had to take a "Pauper's Oath", swearing that they had no assets, and nothing expected at a given future date, before they would be eligible for aid.

People needing to file a lawsuit without having the necessary funds to pay the court fees can swear something similar to receive a waiver from such fees, and prisoners do the same thing when they have to file their cases, since they don't have an income, and no expectation of earning one.

But with the exception of the prisoners, THEY ALL GET TO VOTE.

Why do they have a say in the fiscal policies of the very nation they are asking to pay their bills? Isn't that a conflict of interest? If they are basically asking to live in Uncle Sam's spare room, eating out of his refrigerator, and using up his (read: "our" ) precious resources without adding anything into the pot, why shouldn't they be treated just like a kid living at home?

When I was a kid, we never got to decide what was for supper. We rarely got to decide what was on TV (once we finally got one). We never got to tell Dad to demand a raise so that we could have more money to spend on those rad new iPads. We were told, and responded, "Yes, sir."

But today's welfare recipients DO get that say. And politicians pander to them, promising to deliver ever larger slices of a pie that neither of them had anything to do with baking, in exchange for their support and vote. We have passed the point where 51% of households receive some sort of government payment (although that does include the earned pensions and disability checks).

So why not remove that corruption and conflict of interest out of the equation?

You get government aid? You surrender your vote until you are no longer receiving aid for at least six months. I am not talking about retirement or disability benefits, but things like welfare and food stamps and housing for those who are physically capable of working, but choose not to, especially those who treat it as a generational hammock, rather than an interim safety net. (I refer to the incident where three women - mother, daughter and teen/tween granddaughter - were interviewed on national news following Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, demanding to know how they were supposed to get their welfare checks, now that they couldn't get to their home.)

It's easy: if you want taxpayers to pay your bills, you lose your right to tell those taxpayers how to live their life and spend their money. Because it IS their money.

1 comment:

Ragin' Dave said...

I've been saying for a while - if you don't have skin in the game, you shouldn't get to call the plays.