When I taught in a public high school some16 years ago, a student of mine said another student was absent because she had to be with her mother so that she could get the 'crazy check'. I thought I knew all about welfare checks, but this was one I'd never heard of before. Turns out, if you can prove you are crazy enough to be unemployable, you get a 'crazy check' on top of social security, welfare, food stamps, Adult care of Dependent Children, etc. But you have to show you are too crazy to provide your own transportation, so my student was gone.
The young woman who had to go for the 'crazy check' wasn't my saddest student on public schools in relatively insulated Omaha, Nebraska. Granted, she had followed her mother into the family business of prostitution, but as she said to me at our last class, "I'm the first woman in my family to finish high school without getting pregnant." She frequently showed up for class in slippers and sweats after working all night.
The saddest one was the daughter of an addict who became an addict herself. I noticed by the bruises on her arm that she had started to inject herself a few weeks before graduation. The school nurse, a female administrator, and I made elaborate plans to catch her in her routine, but our plans were destroyed by another administrator before we could get to her. She dropped out days before graduating.
The primary reason I joined the Tea Party in the beginning was because the government has taken over the business of charity. And they do a really lousy job of it. Welfare recipients are the lowest of the low in our country. They receive benefits, work to keep them, and never seem to stop taking them. Welfare has become an entitlement. "I deserve this. I deserve to live and you can't take that away from me." In no other government law or program is that thought so rampant. Has anyone ever heard an unborn child say, "I deserve to live. You can't take that away from me."
And yet, our elected representatives tell us we have to provide for others, as long as they are not pre-born.
I joined the Tea Party to protect my right to give to charity as I see fit. I don't want to waste my money on government programs. What is alarming is that the government seems to think that the poor and the needy, very politically incorrect names these days, would be left helpless if they don't provide entitlements.
That is patently false.
The bureaucrats in charge of government services are notoriously unkind. Charitable institutions that have survived government take overs, like churches, provide better and more meaningful care.
As we look to cut spending and taxes, let's remember that if we stop the government from being charitable, we can all be more charitable. The current administration proposed to reduce or eliminate the charitable tax deduction. Truly, nothing could be worse for the state of our pocketbooks, our country, and our souls.
Mark Shea apparently thinks that Tea Party people are small and lack generosity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We simply want to choose our own charities. That's charities. Not entitlements.