Dear Future President,
You are a bug and you fall off a leaf and land in a spider's web. You are safe for awhile because you don't get hurt, but then the spider eats you. In too many cases, this is what is happening to good and able people on the welfare system. The government keeps you safe and pays for necessities but then, the negatives of the welfare system eat you up. Too many people become dependent upon the “welfare web”, have an opinion that welfare is better than working or even worse, learn how to “beat the system” and receive benefits that they are not even eligible for. To help avoid these problems, my suggestion is that you require all states to adopt the welfare program that the state of Kansas signed into law in April of this year.
To help avoid dependency on welfare, the Kansas welfare system, “Senate Bill 402”, reduces the time limit that recipients can receive benefits. LJWorld.com has an article that reads, “Senate Bill 402 … reduces that limit to 24 months, with possible hardship extensions to 36 months. The bill (also) requires stricter verification...”. This time frame is two to three years less than the current welfare system and would motivate recipients to find a new job quicker. Less time on welfare reduces one’s dependency on it, therefore benefiting the recipient and the nation as a whole.
The next problem is that some people believe that receiving welfare is better than working at a job. They figure why work when I can get the government just to give me money. Maybe it is just too easy to receive benefits. According to the Kansas City Star article adapted by Newsela, “The law requires those receiving welfare to work at least 20 hours a week or go through a job training program. It also puts many restrictions on where welfare money can be spent. For example, it cannot be used at movie theaters or swimming pools.” By making individuals work to receive welfare and by limiting how they can spend their money, welfare should no longer be seen as being better than working.
The third issue is that welfare fraud hurts those who actually need it. It also hurts those who pay for welfare…“taxpayers”. Unfortunately, the only people that welfare fraud benefits are the criminals. One example of welfare fraud was printed in the StarTribune an online news site. The article shared the story of Mr. and Mrs. Chisholm. “The couple were living in a $1.6 million mansion in Deephaven on Lake Minnetonka and owned a million-dollar yacht during part of the time period they were illegally receiving welfare and other benefits… benefits were finally cut off when they couldn’t explain how they were able to pay their rent and personal expenses with no income.” It was found that they were illegally receiving welfare benefits with many fake accounts in different states. The Kansas law closely monitors who receives welfare and how it can be spent. Why shouldn’t we have these same monitors and controls in all states so we can avoid cases like the Chisholm’s?
However, not everyone agrees with the Kansas law. Going back to my bug analogy, if you are a bug with a hurt wing, you might just need a little help, time and respect to get better before you can fly off again. Some would argue that the Kansas Welfare Law has some negative consequences and is hurting some very deserving individuals including children. Others would argue this law is simply mean and degrading.
According to The Great Bend Post, “For struggling Kansas, state-administered safety net programs are an essential lifeline to help families with children meet basic needs… Less than a year since its implementation, the HOPE Act has already harmed Kansas’ most vulnerable kids.” By limiting the time frame, very needy families will lose their only source of income without having found a job to replace it. As a result, those who need help the most will now be in a more desperate situation because they will have nothing. This becomes worse when the family has small children.
In addition, many feel the Kansas Welfare Law is mean and degrading. If someone is in need and the government can help, why should the government dictate where they can spend their money. These are adults who can make their own decisions but instead are being treated like children. YourNewsWire.com has an article that reads, “Kansas legislators and advocates for the poor see the new legislation as an attempt to shame and degrade those whose lives are already difficult.”
Why do we send our kids to school? Why do we teach them strong work ethics? Why do we teach them to be honest? We do these things so that they will grow up and be successful, not dependent. The Kansas Welfare Law is not trying to get people to grow up, but it is trying to help them be successful by limiting the possibility of them becoming overly dependent, using work ethic and skills to help achieve a successful job and by monitoring welfare closely to keep people honest. I ask you to please look at the Kansas Welfare Law and help implement it in other states.
Works Cited :
By Peter Hancock - Lawrence Journal-World. "Brownback Signs Bill Imposing More Kansas Welfare Restrictions." LJWorld.com. N.p., 16 May 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
By. "New Kansas Law Limits How Long Poor People Can Get Welfare Money."Newsela. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
By Making Much Ado over Her E-mails, the Media Has Buried Her Qualifications and Policies. "Millionaire Who Took Welfare Benefits Will Receive 21-month Prison Sentence." Star Tribune. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
Hart, Megan. "Numbers Don't Support Kansas Welfare to Work Claim." Great Bend Post. Post, 16 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.
Adl, Carol. "Kansas To Impose Restrictions On Welfare Recipients." Your News Wire. N.p., 09 Aug. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016.