Tough love needed for the poor

April 19, 2014

I recently wrote a letter to the editor about my support for raising the minimum wage. I do believe it will make some people feel better. I do not believe that it will really help the poor.

President Obama quotes the Bible on occasion. He is a Christian, and the majority of Americans are Christian. He quoted from the Book of Luke to give credence to his social justice agenda: “For everyone to whom much is given, much will be required.” He said that to make his point about raising taxes and equality. I do not agree, but that is not why I am writing.

On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. To date, we have spent in excess of $8 trillion in this war. In 2012, we spent $799 billion to fight poverty. We have 50 million people who live at or below the poverty level. That means we spend $15,980 per person or $63,920 on a family of four. The poor would not be poor if they received that money. There are 92 federal programs run by 23 different agencies who administer welfare programs. They probably consume 75 percent of that money. If you go to the Book of Matthew, you will find the disciples complaining about the oil that the woman used to anoint Jesus. They said it should have been sold and the money used for the poor.

There are also people who use class warfare for their own benefit. They are stirring up strife and division. From Genesis to the New Testament, there are many, many warnings to those who cause strife. Do the wealthy have to help the poor? Yes, the Bible says we should give to those in need. It also says the responsibility to help widows and children should fall on the church, not the government.

There are those who refuse government assistance, those who take it but would rather not, and those who live comfortably on it. The government can tax and spend, but they cannot change the heart. There are 28 different education and training programs, costing about $94 billion. How can the government create a need or desire to get off welfare and find a job when welfare pays more than many jobs?

Benjamin Franklin said the poor should never be comfortable. It seems cruel, but there comes a time for tough love.

Dave Vukmanic



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