View Full Version : The big tent and the little side show in govt tax

08-16-2004, 05:06 AM
I do not know the actual cost of childcare, but I actually knew some people on welfare, who stayed on welfare because if they worked an unskilled job, they could not afford basic bills due to childcare costs. Then there is the problem that the govt pays for up to 4.

I was visiting a poor family. The older boy, age about 12 was making fun of the people downstairs who had more than 4. The boy said 'don't they know that THEY only pay for four'. And we know who the they are. Why is our govt paying for 4 kids out of our taxes, when most of the rest of us who are working can barely afford two. Why is it, that many of the people on welfare eat better than I do, because I have to watch the cost of grocery items? Can you imagine how much the govt would save if they only paid for two? In some countries, people are offered a big fat check (but way less than the cost of raising 2 kids) if they volunteer to be 'fixed'. But here, people scream about 'civil rights'. What would such a plan,which would again save us money, have to do with civil rights, when the person is not forced to accept the check?

People on welfare also get free housing, and nearly free utilities and medical. They are certainly in many ways better off than the person who makes 30,000, pays childcare, because the spouse that stayed home with the kids, left. The fact that those on welfare, who ARE capable of working, do not because they could not make it on an unskilled job, stay on welfare, is the welfare trap,and we are paying for that in a govt that just keeps 'doing what it has always done' instead of revamping that whole system.

Of course, there are many more things our tax dollars are going to which IMO, need to be looked at also. I am just more aware of that one because I worked with those welfare folks for 9 years, some who were genuinely needy (but not FOUR kids geez) and some who were capable of working and actually wanted to but were stuck in that 'welfare trap'.

IMO, cutting taxes is what I call 'the big tent and the little sideshow'. We focus on cutting taxes and make it a platform for a presidential campagne, when it is the 'little side show', when the 'big tent' is that our whole system, from the top to the bottom, relating to where our tax dollars are going, needs revamping.


08-16-2004, 02:55 PM
Just some facts for perspective on the 3 programs you are talking about:

The number of individuals on TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) the old AFDC) in the US has dropped by 60% since welfare reform legislation was passed in 1996. The Republicans were right to push for this, and Clinton was right to support it. This program also is time limited (2 to 5 years lifetime), unlike food stamps.

Also, the number of individuals on food stamps has also dropped by 64% since 1995.

The total US federal budget in 2004 is 2,229 billion dollars. Here is how that is split up:

409 billion defense
492 billion SS
446 billion Medicare and Medicaid
156 billion interest on federal debt
16 billion TANF,
17 billion Food Stamps,
17 billion rent subsidies
676 billion other

So food stamps, TANF, and housing subsidies make up about 2.2% of the federal budget. Obviously this doesn't address the issue of whether the programs are good or not -- it just points out that these programs make up a very small proportion of your tax dollars.