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Posted: December 29, 2011 - 12:06am

The column you printed in Monday’s paper is fascinating. Who would have thought the hounds baying against “entitlement” would still be standing at the fence, howling at those who feel that if they work hard and pay via taxes into Social Security they are entitled to retire at age 65?

Or those malcontents on the other side of the fence who expect help buying food, (even single mothers with small children would rather have food stamps than starve); why do they believe the very poor or young children should not go hungry in the United States of America? Why does this echo from close to 80 years ago when Franklin Roosevelt was fighting to aid Americans during the Great Depression? Or even Ronald Reagan and his fuming against those such as the Welfare Queen in Chicago who drove up every week in her expensive car to collect her welfare check? She turned out to be a myth, but his followers were convinced the idea was correct. They must have been disappointed when, shortly after, there was a temporary Christmas hiring in Chicago and 750 applicants turned out for something like 50 openings

It must have been disappointing, if the hounds noticed, to find nation-wide, within one year, in the 1980s, 92% of welfare recipients were off it. This is in direct contradiction to the happy belief that those on welfare sit on the couch watching TV, usually while drinking beer. This columnist claims entitlement “tempts recipients to ‘play’ the system, leading to waste, fraud, and long-term dependence on the dole”, a fancier way of saying they sit on the couch and drink beer.

I was startled to hear the new Conservative goal is to repeal the New Deal. So how about going back to the days when all is fine if you are young and fit and bright. If not, you are on your own. Lose your job and have young children and no money? Too bad. Elderly and in bad pain but have no family or money? Too bad. Did you know the Humane Society in the U.S. was founded to assure the decent treatment of animals but, a few years later, abused children and the elderly were included, as there were no laws to protect them? Ah, those golden days! You underserving poor, as the old term went, you should be grateful for Christmas when the affluent decide to be kind. That is the real message your columnist sent.

Dee Longenbaugh


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