cassie d. California

Welfare system

I'm writing this letter on behalf of how the welfare system is costing our nation too much money.

Dear Future President,

Good day to you and congratulations on your election as President of the United States. I live in an economically depressed area and I witness people abusing the welfare system on an everyday basis. I see these people buying cars, cell phone and other luxury items, while my family works hard and barely stays ahead of our financial responsibilities. I am writing you this letter on behalf of millions of other students, just like me. The welfare system requires a huge portion of the federal budget and much of this money is going to waste.

The welfare system has both benefits and disadvantages, unfortunately the system we have established has more disadvantages than it does benefits. As of now, America is greatly in debt. Spending so much money on the welfare system is most definitely not helping us get out of debt and pay back the money we’ve borrowed from other countries. According to the Heritage Foundation, the spending rate we are at now on the welfare system will cost us even more money that we do not have. Specifically, the Welfare Foundation estimates welfare will cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years. This is a scary statement considering how depressed our economy is and how we cannot afford to be wasting this money.

Not all people on welfare abuse the benefits. Some welfare recipients are disabled , while others stay on welfare for a short amount of time - until they get back on their feet - which is the purpose of the welfare system. However, in the last two decades this has been the exception and not the rule. Statistics proven by Megan Elliott have shown the rise of welfare users within just one year in her article “ Who’s on Welfare? 9 Shocking stats about public assistance” "In 2009, 18.6% of the population was participating in at least one means-tested benefit program. That number was up to 21.3% in 2012. But the increase in welfare participation seems to be leveling off; there was no statistically significant rise in participation from 2011 to 2012." No one who is perfectly capable of obtaining a job should be dependent upon our government for their livelihood.

According to David Zanotti, the biggest cause of welfare is people who have children out-of-wedlock or who are divorced. "The message is staggering in its simplicity: Marriage, as an institution, and the practice of marital fidelity remains the single biggest preventative agent to poverty. No matter how hard government tries, it will never succeed in replacing the stability and prosperity that flow from marriage in two-parent families. Perhaps after 30 years of trying and failing, it's time that public policy begin to reflect the words of the writer of the Book of Hebrews, who says, "Marriage should be honored by all." Marriage or lack of marriage is a very huge cause as to why people go on welfare and why the government has to put so much money into this system. Seventy- five percent of welfare recipients are women; women who have become impoverished due to divorce or having a child and not being married.

As much as parents think they are benefiting from living off of the government’s money, they are wrong for many different reasons. The effects of families living off of welfare is disappointing to our society. Of course we all have that "stereotype" of a welfare family in mind, but in most cases that stereotype is real. "Prolonged Welfare dependence reduces children's IQ levels. Dependence also reduces a child's earnings in future years; the longer a child remains on AFDC in childhood the lower will be his earnings as an adult. Being raised on Welfare also increases the probability that a child will drop out of school and will be on Welfare as an adult. Analysis shows that these effects are caused by Welfare per se, not simply poverty; a poor child without Welfare will do better than a similar poor child with welfare." (Rector). According to Robert Rector from the Heritage Foundation, these kinds grow up being co-dependent and don't succeed as well as people who either had to struggle with bills and not using the government’s money or those who are financially stable. Robert Rector also explains how these children tend to be the ones who grow up recklessly. "Out-of-wedlock childbearing and single parenthood are the principal causes of child poverty and welfare dependence in the U.S. Children raised in single parent families are more likely to: experience behavioral and emotional problems; suffer from physical abuse; engage in early sexual activity, and do poorly in school. Boys raised in single parent households are more likely to engage in crime; girls are more likely themselves to give birth outside of marriage. These effects are the result of the collapse of marriage per se rather than poverty; a poor child living with a mother and father united in marriage will do better than a similar poor child living in a single parent home." (Rector). After knowing what the cause of child dependency upon welfare is, you and our government know that you have the power to stop these tendencies in our youth society, so why not do something about it?

Like many other Americans I believe there needs to be something done about the welfare system our government has established. As an American, I can tell you, we want you as a president to use your power to make an effort to stop spending so much money on the welfare system due to all of the people who may be taking advantage of it, or people who are capable of obtaining a job and not doing so. Thank you in advance for considering my concerns.


Cassie D

Yreka High School

English IV

12th grade students at Yreka High School.

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