An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month showed that 24 percent of those polled believe the blame of the “continuing problem of poverty” can be placed on “Too much welfare that prevents initiative.” While that was the answer that received the largest percentage of votes and thus appears to be a hopeful sign, it still means 76 percent disagreed.
In Pennsylvania, lawmakers believe there need to be more people on welfare. Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, is among those people. Although Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare this year received an increase in funds compared to last year, Corbett thinks it’s not enough. Republican legislators agree (as do the Democrats, undoubtedly).
They also seem to believe that the problem is not limited to there being not enough money for the Welfare Department, but that not enough people are signing up for welfare, which conclusion just absolutely boggles my mind. The word “welfare” has a stigma to it, they argue; people feel ashamed to be receiving the fruit of other people’s labor, so they don’t sign up for welfare.
The Pennsylvania government wants to change that; wants to see more people on welfare. They seek to manipulate these honorably scrupulous people who are qualified for welfare but choose not to partake of it, and they seek to do so by changing the name. A bill approved by the state House would change the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services. The hope is that this will alter the psychological perception towards welfare and those who receive it.
I believe, at least until I am persuaded otherwise, that there should be a safety net for those people who absolutely will not survive without government assistance. I know that the number of people who fall under that category is a low one that does not warrant the amount of money we put into welfare programs. And I know that those people who are choosing not to be put on welfare because of the stigma are people who, obviously, can survive without it. If they were to die without that welfare, their natural instincts for self-preservation would kick in and they would sign up without hesitation.
So why is Pennsylvania trying to encourage these people to take welfare money? If they are willing to abstain from partaking, whatever the reason may be, then they obviously don’t absolutely need it and should therefore not be receiving it in the first place! When you take money that you don’t need simply because it’s there, you have crossed the threshold from being a sincerely desperate person trying to survive to being a parasite leeching off its host.