J. D. Heyes
June 28, 2013
In the movie, Cinderella Man, actor Russell Crowe played the part of real-life Depression-era boxer James Braddock.
Though he was generally successful at his craft, the sport – like most every other business – began to suffer greatly as the nation’s financial situation worsened. Attendance dropped off as boxing events became a luxury, and Braddock – in the twilight of his boxing career anyway – became less and less of a draw. As his fights and his fan base dried up, Braddock was forced to find work anywhere he could; that usually meant standing on a crowded dock each morning with throngs of other out-of-work men every day, praying that he would get picked to work.
With his primary source of income taken away, the bills soon began piling up, eventually forcing him and his young family to turn to new government assistance programs enacted during the FDR years just to survive.
Toward the end of the movie, Braddock’s career is revitalized. He wins a string of fights before eventually claiming a huge victory over one the era’s top boxers. His economic status revitalized, Braddock, before the credits roll, returns to the government aid office and hands the stunned clerk a wad of cash; he repaid to the government all of the money given him during his hard times.
No more shame – take what you want, and we’ll make someone else will pay for itFast forward to the present. Not only is that kind of personal responsibility and chivalry a thing of the distant past, but nowadays our broke federal government actually pays government workers to recruit Americans to assistance programs. Where once asking for a hand-out was considered shameful and inappropriate, today our broke government pushes people into dependency – and millions are gladly accepting the slavery that dependence brings.
Consider the case of Dillie Nerios, 56, whose job it is to enroll as many senior citizens as she can on food stamps (and you wonder why food stamp rolls in America have exploded at a time when the nation’s debt is spiraling out of control).
Per the Washington Post:
A good recruiter needs to be liked, so Dillie Nerios filled gift bags with dog toys for the dog people and cat food for the cat people. She packed crates of cookies, croissants, vegetables and fresh fruit. She curled her hair and painted her nails fluorescent pink. “A happy, it’s-all-good look,” she said, checking her reflection in the rearview mirror. Then she drove along the Florida coast to sign people up for food stamps.
The Post reported that Nerios – and countless others like her – have a quota of 150 new signees a month.
“Help is available,” she tells her clients. “You deserve it. So, yes or no?”
Most say yes, of course, because that is a basic human reaction to being given something for nothing.
Only, it’s not all for nothing. The food stamp program – formally known as SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is administered by the Department of Agriculture - has grown 70 percent since 2008 to a record 47.8 million people, as of December 2012 (enrollment was 28.2 million in 2008). This despite claims by the administration that the Great Recession of 2007 ended in 2009.
Moreover, the huge expansion is a dual-edged sword, financially speaking. While the growth of the program has become a boondoggle for some states (Florida rakes in $6 billion from the program each year), it’s a cost that is fattening the national debt. The program now costs more than $80 billion annually.
Further, though employment rates are climbing, indicating a more friendly economic environment than in recent years past, so, too, is enrollment in SNAP (though traditionally better economic times led to decreases in enrollment, The Wall Street Journal notes).
Why? Well, you can thank President Obama.
[T]here is another driver, which has its origins in President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare overhaul. In recent years, the law has enabled states to ease asset and income tests for would-be participants, with the encouragement of the Obama Administration, allowing into the program people with relatively higher incomes as well as savings.
What does it say about a president who is willing to risk the financial health of the country just to cultivate more votes for his party? What does it say about a president who says he admires Abraham Lincoln but enslaves millions of his fellow countrymen by hooking them on government hand-outs?
Once upon a time in America, it was unseemly to be seen as a freeloader, living off of the fruits of someone else’s labor. Not anymore. These days, more and more Americans are being encouraged by their own government to raid the U.S. Treasury while demonizing a smaller proportion of society to pay for it.
“I don’t want to be another person depending on the government,” one of Nerio’s prospective senior clients told her, to which she answered, “How about being another person getting the help you deserve?”
Now, freeloading is a “right” that people “deserve.”
And the debt clock keeps ticking.
Sources for this article include:
This article was posted: Friday, June 28, 2013 at 5:49 am