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Should we get food stamps? - Page 3

post #41 of 181


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama1803 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

I don't see why not.  People who are on food stamps don't have to go without nice vehicles, pets, internet and cable TV.  If you qualify and you feel like you need the assistance, that's what it's there for. 



This sentiment is exactly why I'm against public assistance.  Rather than being a safety net for those truely in desperate need it has done nothing more than foster a sense of entitlement.  We should all have what we want, when we want it, simply because our neighbor has it.  There is no right to have a nice vehicle, pets, internet or cable TV.  If you can't afford to feed your kids and need taxpayer money to do so, then you can't afford a new late model vehicle, 4 animals, internet or cable.


Are you completely against public assistance for anyone?  Or just those who you deem not worthy of it?  I'm just asking, b/c it seems like a slippery slope.  I mentioned cars, pets, internet, cable, b/c those are the things the OP shared in her first post -- and yes, she did ask our opinion, which means you are completely justified in having one.  The thing is, she also owns a home, and I imagine plenty of people receiving food stamps also do.  Should it be a requirement that only those who have foreclosed or rent a one bedroom apartment in a shady part of town, or even those who live in their IL's basement be allowed to apply for help? 

 

The guidelines are there for a reason, and I imagine, they are pretty strict.  People here have complained that they have to jump through hoops and that it's near impossible to get any assistance -- something about it being for only the most desperate and determined.  I'm guessing when you apply, you can't have $30K in equity on a Hummer, for instance, and that there are ways to determine what assets one has.  I am not suggesting it's okay to cheat the system and lie about a huge inheritance in order to get a few hundred bucks of free food every month, but there's no reason lower income people should have to go without Internet or a reliable, working vehicle.  It reminds me of those who complain when welfare moms have their nails done, or get cranky when they see people paying for steak and skittles with food stamps... like poor families should only be allowed to eat rice and beans. 

 

I still believe that if you qualify and you could benefit from the help, that's what it's there for. 

post #42 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

Are you completely against public assistance for anyone?  Or just those who you deem not worthy of it?  I'm just asking, b/c it seems like a slippery slope.  I mentioned cars, pets, internet, cable, b/c those are the things the OP shared in her first post -- and yes, she did ask our opinion, which means you are completely justified in having one.  The thing is, she also owns a home, and I imagine plenty of people receiving food stamps also do.  Should it be a requirement that only those who have foreclosed or rent a one bedroom apartment in a shady part of town, or even those who live in their IL's basement be allowed to apply for help? 

 

The guidelines are there for a reason, and I imagine, they are pretty strict.  People here have complained that they have to jump through hoops and that it's near impossible to get any assistance -- something about it being for only the most desperate and determined.  I'm guessing when you apply, you can't have $30K in equity on a Hummer, for instance, and that there are ways to determine what assets one has.  I am not suggesting it's okay to cheat the system and lie about a huge inheritance in order to get a few hundred bucks of free food every month, but there's no reason lower income people should have to go without Internet or a reliable, working vehicle.  It reminds me of those who complain when welfare moms have their nails done, or get cranky when they see people paying for steak and skittles with food stamps... like poor families should only be allowed to eat rice and beans. 

 

I still believe that if you qualify and you could benefit from the help, that's what it's there for. 


clap.gif

 

I completely agree.

 

Where I am the NET income limit for a family of 4 is $1,838.  Seriously, if you are making less then that with a family of 4, you need the help.  

post #43 of 181
yeahthat.gif Drummer's Wife!!
post #44 of 181

Government assistance is our public school system, libraries, student loans, grants, food stamps, Medicaid, roads...

 

We ALL have used government funds/assistance at one point or another. Yes, if you've ever paid taxes, you are entitled (these people are taxpayers too). I know plenty of students that got grants for college, and I can't imagine thinking that they should give up their car, pets... I homeschool, so my kids don't use taxes to pay for their education; I think it's wonderful that my taxes pay for public schools. Most people feel entitled to a K-12 education, but remember, it's paid for w/ taxes (public assistance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama1803 View Post



 



This sentiment is exactly why I'm against public assistance.  Rather than being a safety net for those truely in desperate need it has done nothing more than foster a sense of entitlement.  We should all have what we want, when we want it, simply because our neighbor has it.  There is no right to have a nice vehicle, pets, internet or cable TV.  If you can't afford to feed your kids and need taxpayer money to do so, then you can't afford a new late model vehicle, 4 animals, internet or cable.


Edited by sublimeliving - 2/3/11 at 4:00pm
post #45 of 181

Long, but I've been thinking more on this... skip it if you don't feel like reading!  lol...

 

Having been there before, I agree than a diet of broth and barley and no vitamins or fresh greens and minimal fruits... having to stress out constantly about making payments or getting overdraft fees b'c something happened suddenly and you have NO cushion... having to ride busses or unreliable transportation, etc - can all add up to an unhealthy person.  It's easier to get back on your feet and stay positive about building your financial situation back up when you're feeling good and have basic resources.  I've been in *very* skim situations before and have never applied for aide, but it doesn't bother me when someone else who needs it wants to use it.  I have my reasons why I won't (knock wood) and they have their reasons that they would.  It's not for me to get my knickers twisted over, really.  Aide exists and qualification limits exist and hopefully the majority of people will be honest about using aide.

 

Drummer's wife, I also agree that it's a slippery slope.  I live in a large metro city where I see so many people truly suffering, so I was bothered by my neighbor's use of FS.  He works for cash often and so it's not recorded (yes he knows he's cheating the system but feels honestly entitled to FS, anyway...) and has addictions to alcohol, cigs and shopping.  For situations like the OP's, if she needs to use assistance for a while to build up a savings again or to find better paying jobs, that's great!  

 

It doesn't sound to me like this mother is trying to abuse the system at all and it would take her family much longer to get back on their feet if they have to absolutely lose everything before someone offers a hand.  If she can get aide right now while they still have two reliable cars and a roof over their heads and internet to look for better paying work... they are much closer to being able to support themselves fully, it seems.

 

About the animals, my opinion is that if a person has animals that they're caring for, I'd love for tax dollars to go to helping that person keep them.  If FS can in turn allow for an animal to remain in a loving home, I'm in full support of that.  Shelters are also gov't funded so the real difference is that the animal is sleeping in a concrete pin with not much love and a lot of fear and awaiting adoption or death VS sleeping in a family home and getting daily attention.  I honestly wish there was aide available to people who are willing to care for animals in their home and get them out of shelters (yes I know fostering exists but I'm talking long term)... but that could lead to terrible animal abuse etc.  

Another pp mentioned, pets help relieve stress.  (I think there are even studies that have been done that show kids get better scores while petting an animal while studying or something... years since I read that but googling would bring up those studies.)  BUT, I also realize that pets are viewed differently by people.  My pet is family to me and I have given him half of my own food before, when the fridge was on empty.  Others feel that a pet is a luxury.  This OP said that her pets are like family and I think it's kind of mean-spirited for people to be suggesting to her that she dump members of her family b'c she's going thru a rough time financially.

 

Anyway, that's just what came to mind after reading and thinking more on this... OP, hopefully your situation will get brighter soon, I wish the best for your family.

post #46 of 181

I am 100% against public assistance as the program is currently being run.   And I agree that it is indeed a slippery slope--how one person defines "needs" as opposed to "wants" can be entirely different from how another defines what is necessary to live and what is not.  Certainly one could make the argument that internet is a necessity if it is the only means by which person who is unemployed can find a job.  As to the welfare mom who goes to the salon to get her nails done--well, you've just made my case for me.  lWhile one can make a case for every person having the right to food and shelter, there is no right to have professionally done nails. Simply wanting it and liking it does not deem it necessary.  If you are on welfare because you can't meet your most basic needs on your own, then if is irrresponsible, immoral, and unethical to be spending money on nails. 

 

A pp implied that it was somehow selfish (at least that is how I read it) to take a mortgage interest deduction without asking if that money could be used by someone who obviously needed it moreso than the guy living in a million dollar house.  Why then wouldn't it be appropriate to consider if the money a welfare receipient is using at a nail salon might not be better spent for food for a hungry child?  Why wouldn't it be appropriate to ask if it is more important to feed your kids than it to feed your pets?

post #47 of 181

I don´t believe , you have anything luxurious . You NEED two cars to get around and the newer and more reliable , the better in the long run . An old junker nay be cheaper initially , but they are a bottomless pit , when it comes to repairs and all that .

You need Internet , it is even a great way to save money by getting good deals online , staying on top with finding a job as well as staying connected with people and not for chatting , but support . 

that is greatly undrestimated in my opinion .

Getting rid of your pets is also not an option , I´d rather eat less than get rid of even one of mine . NO WAY ! They give you love , more than their food costs !

So , I´d apply and if you don´t qualify , then oh well , ou tried , but if you do , great !

I´ve seen worse people than you apply and get help and there were quite a few where I thought , they need a kick in their lazy , useless  .... instead of food stamps . 

After all ,you seem to try really hard to provide for your family already , there is nothing wrong with the government helping you out .

I say GO FOR IT thumb.gif

post #48 of 181

IMO, the limits are low enough for food stamps that if you qualify, you should probably get them. 

 

And I'm flabbergasted at how much people are talking their pets costing them!  Our (one) dog averages us $8 a month.  $3 for food, $5 for an annual vet visit (we do go to someone in the country because it's cheaper).  We had a reduction in income the last few years, and now, if we travel, the dog goes with us, or a family member watches him (no boarding costs).  But, he's a pretty cheap source of entertainment for us. 

post #49 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post

IMO, the limits are low enough for food stamps that if you qualify, you should probably get them. 

 

And I'm flabbergasted at how much people are talking their pets costing them!  Our (one) dog averages us $8 a month.  $3 for food, $5 for an annual vet visit (we do go to someone in the country because it's cheaper).  We had a reduction in income the last few years, and now, if we travel, the dog goes with us, or a family member watches him (no boarding costs).  But, he's a pretty cheap source of entertainment for us. 

What are you feeding your dog that it only cost $3 a month.  I have 3 cats and if I can stretch a giant bag of the cheapest food for 3 weeks it costs me $4/wk to feed the 3 of them.  Which I guess would work out to a little over $4/mo per cat.. You must have a small dog!  :)

 

And, holy cow you pay $5 for a yearly check-up for your dog? I stopped taking my cats to the vet because every time I walked in the door for a check-up they charged me $60/ea (we have 3) and they constantly pushed about having them come in for teeth cleanings at like $200/ea because they have to be knocked out, all kinds of shots/preventative medications that were atleast another $30 that they needed, and that's not including flea drops and heart worm pills... I just stopped bringing them because it was too expensive.

post #50 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by JesKace View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post

IMO, the limits are low enough for food stamps that if you qualify, you should probably get them. 

 

And I'm flabbergasted at how much people are talking their pets costing them!  Our (one) dog averages us $8 a month.  $3 for food, $5 for an annual vet visit (we do go to someone in the country because it's cheaper).  We had a reduction in income the last few years, and now, if we travel, the dog goes with us, or a family member watches him (no boarding costs).  But, he's a pretty cheap source of entertainment for us. 

What are you feeding your dog that it only cost $3 a month.  I have 3 cats and if I can stretch a giant bag of the cheapest food for 3 weeks it costs me $4/wk to feed the 3 of them.  Which I guess would work out to a little over $4/mo per cat.. You must have a small dog!  :)

 

And, holy cow you pay $5 for a yearly check-up for your dog? I stopped taking my cats to the vet because every time I walked in the door for a check-up they charged me $60/ea (we have 3) and they constantly pushed about having them come in for teeth cleanings at like $200/ea because they have to be knocked out, all kinds of shots/preventative medications that were atleast another $30 that they needed, and that's not including flea drops and heart worm pills... I just stopped bringing them because it was too expensive.



I think she means that she saves $5 a month to put towards the vet bill.  So $5 a month for 12 months.  So $60.

post #51 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post

IMO, the limits are low enough for food stamps that if you qualify, you should probably get them. 

 

And I'm flabbergasted at how much people are talking their pets costing them!  Our (one) dog averages us $8 a month.  $3 for food, $5 for an annual vet visit (we do go to someone in the country because it's cheaper).  We had a reduction in income the last few years, and now, if we travel, the dog goes with us, or a family member watches him (no boarding costs).  But, he's a pretty cheap source of entertainment for us. 


I think it varies by the dog. When I had two, my big dog couldn't eat cheapo food. It gave him horrible diarrhea. So, I had to buy the pricey dog food. It cost us $30 a month to feed them. The boarding place was $20 a day and we go see my family a week at a time. Then flea/tick stuff during all warm months. All that cost really added up so it did cost us a ton.

Ok, done with the pet-talk thread hijack, SORRY!
post #52 of 181

Jumping in as a mama who uses a great deal of public assistance.  At first glance a mama who in using food stamps and buys things like a steak and skittles and having her nails done does seem to be a bit odd, but come walk in my shoes for a minute or two.

 

I became a single mama at age 32 when I was 10 weeks pregnant.  I had a sizable retirement account of around $20K and was working at a job where I REGULARLY worked 16+ hour days.  I was expected to return to work 6 weeks post partum after an incredibly hard, complicated birth.  I was nowhere near ready to go back, and there was no way I was going to be able to afford childcare for 18 hours a day for a newborn.  I started looking into public assistance and discovered that I would need to cash in my retirement account.  I knew there was no way on earth that I would ever be able to catch up on the funds that I would be losing, so now here I am about to turn 37 with not hope in the world of ever being able to retire comfortably.  I will be working until I can no longer work and then I will again be a drain on the system.

 

I have a very high needs preschooler who does not function if he is in school/care for more than 30 or so hours per week, so I can't work full time.  He just can't handle it.  I have worked at jobs where he could be with me, but they were all so low paying that I was on every imaginable type of assistance even though I was working full time hours.  I have tried everything that I can to find a way to support us without assistance, but it just isn't possible at this time.  I now work a combined 25 hours per week at two different jobs, patching things together, but being paid a decent wage at each.  I live in subsidized housing, receive food stamps and even go to the food shelf occasionally.  I receive $180 per month in FS and try to make that stretch so we don't have to use any of our other funds for food.  It is hard and I have to make some tough choices.  Yes, we actually do eat rice and beans A LOT, but occasionally I do buy things like a lobster or crab legs when I have scrimped and saved for a month by skipping meals and eating crap myself while feeding my son nutritious, yet not very exciting food.  It is a *TREAT*, and yes, I do believe that giving folks enough FS money that they can manage to scrimp and save for a treat is a necessity.  Everyone deserves to feel like a dignified human being and enjoy something once in a while.  I am certainly not eating lobster every day of the week, but when they go on sale for $6.99 a pound, you bet your bippy I am going to go buy a one pounder and split it with my son who ADORES them.

 

As for spending money on things like internet and getting your nails done, I also believe that you need to understand that the system can't take absolutely every financial decision into account.  One mama may have a $100 per month expense for something like a chiropractor or supplements that she absolutely needs, or her child needs in order to function, and another mama may not have that expense.  Those are not factored into FS allotments and if the mama without the extra expenses finds a way to save up to give herself a birthday manicure, I am certainly not one to begrudge her that.  You have no idea if that mama  has been given a gift certificate from a relative, or if she has saved for MONTHS in order to treat herself to something that makes her feel like she is not a welfare bum. 

 

Yes, we receive FS, and yes I spend money on things that I might not need to.  I am throwing a birthday party for my son next months and I just ordered him a relatively extravagant gift that cost $37.  No, he doesn't need it, yes it will thrill him, but I budgeted for it and I cut corners everywhich way to Tuesday in order to do what I want to do in order to not feel like I am a Welfare Queen. 

 

I say let people make choices for themselves, but give them the tools to keep their heads above water.  The easiest way to show a person respect is to let them figure things out for themselves and to offer help where it is clear that help is needed.  Not everyone is going to make the best choices, but let hem learn that for themselves.  Yes the system is strained, and flawed in many ways, but living here at the bottom and using all of it doesn't have to be an ugly thing of living with no heat and eating rice and beans for years. 

 

To the OP, use the FS, and please do not feel badly about it at all.  As others have said, it is there for a reason, and as a tax paying citizen, you have a right to it and it can make life a little easier, so definitely go for it. :)

post #53 of 181
Thread Starter 

First of all, thank you to all who wrote kind, thoughtful replies.

 

To the rest of you: I know sometimes it's hard to figure out exactly what a poster is asking, and even though i believe i was pretty clear, i want to reiterate for your benefit that i was not asking for financial advice.  Least of all was i asking for you to criticize how i handle my finances.  I was simply asking: If your financial situation was like mine, would you get foodstamps?  But as is often the case, i received responses that i need to get rid of this, that and the other thing and that my judgement was being clouded by my emotions.  Whatever. 

 

I wish i could focus on the positive replies i got, but i can't.  As time goes on, i find people here reaching out for help and support they're not getting, and lots of people more than willing to kick fellow mothers while they're down.  This is not a place to take out your rage and self-hatred on people so you can feel superior.  This is meant to be a place of learning and support, but since i'm having trouble finding that anymore, i'm done here at mothering.com. 

 

Again, if you had something positive and helpful to say, keep it up!  And thank you!  People like you are greatly needed here at mothering.com.

post #54 of 181

This is an idiological question you're posing. I think that most people for whom food stamps don't sit well, they are going to bristle at your question, even if they grudgingly accept that *some* people need assistance.

 

For me, I don't take issue with government assistance. If you qualify, you qualify. PERIOD. But I am also vehemently anti-Ayn Rand/Objectivism/Libertarianism, so of course you'll get that sort of answer from me. I am essentially a socialist, and I love that my tax dollars have gone to people who meet qualifications for assistance.

 

Right now, I am living in my MIL's home, we have two cars (albeit old ones), I am unable to work related to pregnancy issues, my husband is in school. We qualify for food stamps, I am taking them. We likely will never qualify for them again, after May, and we will spend the rest of our working lives paying into this system and I am proud to do it. Even if you need them for years, I am happy that we have this option and hope you never feel an ounce of guilt, shame or regret.

post #55 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

This is an idiological question you're posing. I think that most people for whom food stamps don't sit well, they are going to bristle at your question, even if they grudgingly accept that *some* people need assistance.

That's an untrue assumption for everyone. I don't have a problem with public assistance. I wish sometimes that it were calculated differently. For example, I wish that students who excel received a free college education and not just people whose parents don't make much money. Supporting the best & brightest would help our society more, regardless of that person's parents' socioeconomic status. The purpose of public assistance - from any worldview - is to better society. 

 

The problem I have with the OP's situation is that it does represent to me what is problematic about public assistance. The OP doesn't need food stamps, whether her family qualifies or not. She could make different decisions to be self-sufficient, but public assistance is so easily & readily available that I do think it encourages people to rely on someone other themselves. My husband & I graduated from college about a year after the dot com bust. Laid off programmers were beginning to get job offers again at low rates, which meant that my husband, whose degree is in computer science, was at a serious disadvantage in getting a job. He worked 4 days a week at GAP and 3 days a week as a day laborer until he found something else. I was a graduate student and worked in my department. We cut everything from our lives, shut up our apartment so that we only needed to heat, cool, and light 1 room, sold our things to make money, etc. We were broke! 

 

It sucked, but we learned so.much. from that experience. I cannot tell you how much that experience taught us about who we are and what we can do if we put our energy into it. Now, truthfully I sometimes wish we'd gone the public assistance route because it would've been easier. At the same time, we learned to rely on ourselves, and that has served us well. When I read here or talk to people IRL who have tons of reasons for why they cannot get a job, pay their bills, etc., I think about how creative and resourceful that time taught us to be. So, in the OP's situation, no, it's not dire enough for me to think that food stamps are a need and not a want.

post #56 of 181

I would cut cable, but keep internet for job searching.  If once cable is gone there is still not enough I would go for it.  If you temporarily need the help, that's why it is there.  That's what it was intended for.  Now if you stay on them for twenty years, that's different.

post #57 of 181

I never used the "everyone" qualifier. *You* did in order to disagree with me. You put words into my assessment. I actually said, "most." It is difficult to argue with "most" though, so I guess you had to lend me your qualifier of "everyone."

 

That said, I have absolutely no problem with how the system is set up. It goes by income and I think the income guidelines are fair. I think you are saying that you do not think they are fair? No need to quote me, and "disagree" with me in order to make your point.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by geekgolightly View Post

This is an idiological question you're posing. I think that most people for whom food stamps don't sit well, they are going to bristle at your question, even if they grudgingly accept that *some* people need assistance.

That's an untrue assumption for everyone. I don't have a problem with public assistance. I wish sometimes that it were calculated differently. For example, I wish that students who excel received a free college education and not just people whose parents don't make much money. Supporting the best & brightest would help our society more, regardless of that person's parents' socioeconomic status. The purpose of public assistance - from any worldview - is to better society. 

 

The problem I have with the OP's situation is that it does represent to me what is problematic about public assistance. The OP doesn't need food stamps, whether her family qualifies or not. She could make different decisions to be self-sufficient, but public assistance is so easily & readily available that I do think it encourages people to rely on someone other themselves. My husband & I graduated from college about a year after the dot com bust. Laid off programmers were beginning to get job offers again at low rates, which meant that my husband, whose degree is in computer science, was at a serious disadvantage in getting a job. He worked 4 days a week at GAP and 3 days a week as a day laborer until he found something else. I was a graduate student and worked in my department. We cut everything from our lives, shut up our apartment so that we only needed to heat, cool, and light 1 room, sold our things to make money, etc. We were broke! 

 

It sucked, but we learned so.much. from that experience. I cannot tell you how much that experience taught us about who we are and what we can do if we put our energy into it. Now, truthfully I sometimes wish we'd gone the public assistance route because it would've been easier. At the same time, we learned to rely on ourselves, and that has served us well. When I read here or talk to people IRL who have tons of reasons for why they cannot get a job, pay their bills, etc., I think about how creative and resourceful that time taught us to be. So, in the OP's situation, no, it's not dire enough for me to think that food stamps are a need and not a want.

post #58 of 181
OP, you brought up a controversial issue on the frugality/finance thread. I think it was assumed you were looking for objective opinions. By listing the things you have, you brought those elements to the table. I am sorry you were upset by some responses or opinions, but that is the nature of a forum, lot of different people giving opinions.
post #59 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldingoddess View Post

IMO If you qualify for FS, you should be on it.  I don't care what year your current car is or if you have internet or not, the income limits for FS is low enough that if that is what you are making, you should be on them.  I'm happy to know my tax money is going to help out families that are struggling. 

 

ITA. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama1803 View Post
This sentiment is exactly why I'm against public assistance.  Rather than being a safety net for those truely in desperate need it has done nothing more than foster a sense of entitlement.  We should all have what we want, when we want it, simply because our neighbor has it.  There is no right to have a nice vehicle, pets, internet or cable TV.  If you can't afford to feed your kids and need taxpayer money to do so, then you can't afford a new late model vehicle, 4 animals, internet or cable.



I think our society has decided that "public assistance" is wrong and that is why it is labeled as it is.  Why I brought up the interest deduction is because it highlights that it is a MORAL issue, on that I feel many people are coming down on the wrong side of.

 

Let's picture all of the taxes the US govt is "owed."  Out of that they pay various things.  One thing they pay is food stamps.  Another is to return money to people based on their expenses.

 

So, for $5000 the government can help a low income family have food for the year.

For the same $5000, they can help a high income family have a house that costs $100K more than they could otherwise afford.

 

The first is considered a handout.  The family is considered lesser in some way for taking it.

The second is considered perfectly fine.  The family is considered smart and good planners for taking it.

 

In what way are they not BOTH public assistance?  There is a mortgage interest deduction because our society has deteremined that home-ownership is something that should be encouraged, AKA SUBSIDIZED, by the government.

There are food stamps because our society has determined that all members of our society should have access to adequate food.

 

If we are not going to attack those who take the interest deduction (of which I have for the past 10 years, btw, thanks!) for not being able to "support themselves" why should we attack those who take it for food.  After all, if you can't afford your house without the mortgage interest deduction maybe you should get rid of your pets, only have one car...

 

How has it become *more* honorable to take money you don't really need than to take money that makes a huge difference in your life?!?!?
 

Quote:

Are you completely against public assistance for anyone?  Or just those who you deem not worthy of it?  I'm just asking, b/c it seems like a slippery slope.  I mentioned cars, pets, internet, cable, b/c those are the things the OP shared in her first post -- and yes, she did ask our opinion, which means you are completely justified in having one.  The thing is, she also owns a home, and I imagine plenty of people receiving food stamps also do.  Should it be a requirement that only those who have foreclosed or rent a one bedroom apartment in a shady part of town, or even those who live in their IL's basement be allowed to apply for help? 

  


ITA.  If we want to get on this slope, then really, if you have more than a one room hut and a bag of rice there is SOMEONE out there who needs your money more than you do.  I mean, if we want to look at it this way---- why even help the people who live in a basement, there are plenty of homeless?  Why help "just" the homeless, there are plenty of disabled homeless.  There is no reason in a country as rich as ours that even the relatively "poor" cannot have a reasonable life.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post

Government assistance is our public school system, libraries, student loans, grants, food stamps, Medicaid, roads...

 

We ALL have used government funds/assistance at one point or another. Yes, if you've ever paid taxes, you are entitled (these people are taxpayers too). I know plenty of students that got grants for college, and I can't imagine thinking that they should give up their car, pets... I homeschool, so my kids don't use taxes to pay for their education; I think its wonderful that my taxes pay for public schools. Most people feel entitled to a K-12 education, but remember, it's paid for w/ taxes (public assistance). 


 

Yup!  Personally, I would totally support the EXPANSION of programs like WIC & Food Stamps.  Even if you're "cheating" the system to get them, at least it means that you're eating!  That your kids are eating. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama1803 View Post

 

A pp implied that it was somehow selfish (at least that is how I read it) to take a mortgage interest deduction without asking if that money could be used by someone who obviously needed it moreso than the guy living in a million dollar house.  Why then wouldn't it be appropriate to consider if the money a welfare receipient is using at a nail salon might not be better spent for food for a hungry child?  Why wouldn't it be appropriate to ask if it is more important to feed your kids than it to feed your pets?

 

I hope my further explanation has explained it a bit better.  See, I don't think it is selfish for the person to take the mortgage interest deduction and still have luxuries.  Just like I don't think that it is selfish for the person to take food stamps and still have luxuries.  They are both forms of public assistance, they are both obtained legally, they should be viewed THE SAME.  While I hear plenty of people saying it is wrong for someone to take food stamps AND have any luxuries, I don't hear anyone saying that it is wrong to take tax deductions ON LUXURIES and pay for ADDITIONAL LUXURIES with those tax deductions.  They are both using governmental tax money to pay for their individual luxuries.  NO DIFFERENCE.  (Well, to me there is a huge difference, because of the people I know paying >$30K mortgage interest yearly, they are spending probably more than a family on food stamps makes a year on luxuries with no moral qualms, but that doesn't mean I think they shouldn't take the deduction)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

 

The problem I have with the OP's situation is that it does represent to me what is problematic about public assistance. The OP doesn't need food stamps, whether her family qualifies or not. She could make different decisions to be self-sufficient, but public assistance is so easily & readily available that I do think it encourages people to rely on someone other themselves. My husband & I graduated from college about a year after the dot com bust. Laid off programmers were beginning to get job offers again at low rates, which meant that my husband, whose degree is in computer science, was at a serious disadvantage in getting a job. He worked 4 days a week at GAP and 3 days a week as a day laborer until he found something else. I was a graduate student and worked in my department. We cut everything from our lives, shut up our apartment so that we only needed to heat, cool, and light 1 room, sold our things to make money, etc. We were broke!  

 

 

 

I think that is totally fine, if you are answering the question *for yourself.*  It sounds like it is extremely important to you (or has been) to stay off of governmental programs like food stamps. Each person needs to make their own decision.  For example, when our oldest was a baby we could have been on food stamps if I was willing to go back to work.  We decided that we were fine being "poor" (so our one income was DP's grad school department job) if it meant me staying home.  But, I'm not going to say that all people should want to live well below the poverty line to stay home with their child.

 

I truly believe in allowing individuals to set their own priorities.  For some people, being well dressed is very, very important.  They might be handwashing their clothes in their 350 sq foot studio sink at night but they feel great because they look good.  For others, it is something else.  I mean, we could go find the very poorest person who is somehow getting by and say, "if you are better off than THEM, you don't need any help."  It just doesn't make sense to me to do so. 

 

 

 

 

post #60 of 181

What a knowledgeable and well spoken post, TiredX.  You shared a lot of insight and also hard knowledge about the topic.  Thank you.

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