Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Letters to the Editor

July 17, 2012

How many charity recipients are actually freeloaders?

Greensburg — Dear Editor,

Regular readers of my writings over the years are well aware that I began life as a Democrat, as were my parents, then as a young adult I segued into being a Chamber-of-Commerce-type Republican.

This status was still in force when I voted for George W. Bush in his first run for the presidency, an act for which I have been heartily ashamed since that time.

As I've, hmm, matured, much of my thinking has veered somewhat more toward a liberal view of things, but I still retain a great many of my conservative leanings. That's why I could never be one of those rabidly partisan persons such as those who now inhabit and control both major parties in the United States. I'm cursed with often being able to see some good and some bad on both sides of any given debate.

All that being said, my conservative side really gets steamed whenever I consider the matter of food stamps, many of the related welfare programs, and the established and ongoing abuse of all of them.

A couple of decades ago (seems like only yesterday!), I served on the board of the local Salvation Army, which was quite active in Rush County at the time. My service didn't just consist of attending board meetings Ñ I also spent time at the Army headquarters boxing foodstuffs for distribution. In the beginning I had a really good feeling about this activity until I learned that the majority of the people receiving the free stuff were generational welfare recipients.

In these families, each ensuing generation was brought up to expect this free stuff as their due, and if the goods they received didn't suit them, they raised cain about it. I also learned that most of the free-loaders were at least reasonably healthy and able enough to hold some sort of job, but they chose not to, never having developed a work ethic.

That's when I quit hurting my back filling boxes with canned goods and resigned from the Salvation Army.

(My all-time favorite Letter to the Editor was sent to the Rushville Republican prior to the Christmas holiday. The female writer complained vociferously and bitterly that her free Christmas food basket had for many years contained a turkey, but this year it only had a chicken!)

The subject of welfare and its abuse, admittedly a sore topic for me, was aroused afresh by an article in the Indianapolis Star entitled, "Food stamp use spurs healthy debate."

The following paragraphs in quotation marks are lifted in entirety from the story, originally published in the Chicago Tribune:

"CHICAGO Ñ On a steamy weekend, customers at a discount grocery store in Evanston, Ill., loaded their carts with bags of chips, boxes of cookies, 2-liter soda bottles and jugs of fruit punch, among other items Ñ then paid for it all with food stamp credit."

"Although some people may be surprised to see Ônutrition assistance' dollars going to buy food with little nutritional value, it's perfectly legal under federal rules."

"Some politicians and health advocates want that to change, saying restricting food stamp purchases to healthier items would encourage better diets, reduce health-care costs and make better use of precious tax dollars."

"Critics of the idea say such proposals are condescending, probably wouldn't be effective and would stigmatize aid recipients."

There's more detail to the story, but the above states the case well enough. I consider it a national scandal of the first order that millions of welfare dollars are spent on junk food and that the same people line up week after week at various food pantries to pick up boxes of free groceries and other items. Repeat habitual offenders, I call Ôem.

While not considering myself to be without compassion, I'm really not too concerned nor worried about stiffer rules being "condescending to welfare recipients" or if some feel they would be "stigmatized." Most of those recipients have thick hides and if they were in some manner condescended to or stigmatized, they wouldn't realize it and if they did they wouldn't give it a second thought.

I was behind two obese women in a checkout lane at our leading grocery store a few days ago. Unable to avoid hearing their conversation with the clerk, I learned that the pair were a mother and daughter (the daughter being the one with all the tattoos).

The mother proudly announced that the daughter was "pregnant with twins."

When the mother's purchases were totaled, she produced a white check-like document, which I learned was a WIC Check. She signed her name and was away scot free. Next up was the daughter. She, in turn, whipped out her own WIC Check and her purchases were paid for.

It crossed my mind that more than likely the unborn twins being carried by the daughter would also spend a lifetime on welfare of all sorts, thereby continuing an endless cycle.

(I did some research on WIC (Women, Infants, Children) and found the rules to be somewhat complex, but not all that difficult to understand; also, apparently not all that difficult to circumvent. I invite you to look them up yourself.)

I don't think I am hard-hearted. I love the idea of truly needy people getting assistance, just like I enjoy seeing an actual handicapped person using a handicap parking space, but I recognize and abhor the fact that vast numbers of people are gaming the system, freeloading at taxpayer expense, and doing it generation after generation.

Countless massive tomes have been written about the problem of aiding those in need while at the same time eliminating crookery, so one should not expect this brief letter to entirely cover the matter; nor will it lead to a solution which has eluded many bright minds not to mention not-so-bright government bureaucrats, so I'll just close by simply saying, "Cheating is cheating, my friends," and I don't like it.

Norman D. Voiles

Resident of Rush County; native of Decatur County

Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Can we really love again? Can we really love again? Dear Editor: This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Whether it's right or wrong, I can't get it out of my head. Could I fall in love again? My wife will always be my one true love, but this time it would

    April 17, 2014

  • Parks Department doing a great job Dear Editor: I'm writing a few lines to let people in Greensburg and Decatur County know what a wonderful person we have over our Parks and Recreation Department: Bob Barker. He has done so many wonderful things to make out parks better and more beau

    April 17, 2014

  • Kids should be kids, not criminals Dear Editor: The weather was lovely this weekend and our neighbors were all out to play. Well, except for some people from or outside of our neighborhood that broke in and vandalized several cars during the night. They stole change, pocket knives, ru

    April 17, 2014

  • letter to the editor A polite invitation to proper language usage Dear Editor: Am I the only person to notice that the splendid word "invitation" is rapidly disappearing from our English language? One now receives an "invite" to this or that function, but no longer an in

    April 10, 2014

  • We must move past grief Dear Editor: I would like to kind of bare my soul. When we have loved ones, friends and young ones who pass away before their time, we believe they are going to a better place, but the place they are leaving is in our hearts and minds. This is very

    April 8, 2014

  • Many country drivers speed, ignore stop signs Dear Editor: It was no April Fool's Joke when the front page of the Tues., April 1, Rushville Republican revealed the sad fact that yet another teen age driver had come to grief on a country road. Fortunately the young female driver was not seriously

    April 8, 2014

  • Many of my submitted questions remain unanswered Dear Editor: It is usually pointless to "respond to a response," but I feel compelled to do so in this instance. The critique of my letter "Why an assault rifle in the home?," by Mr. Ronald Hassler, is so poorly written as to be not worthy of note, b

    April 8, 2014

  • The crime is more important than the weapon Dear Editor: I felt it necessary to respond to Norm Voiles's letter regarding the accidental firearm killing of a Greensburg youth and the subsequent points raised by the writer. Mr. Voiles quickly turns his attention from the incident itself to the

    April 3, 2014

  • Good dancers float across the floor Good dancers float across the floor Here I am, drinking that cup of coffee again and remembering my wife Peggy. I loved to dance and when we danced, we blended together. My daughter and I have some of that, but Annie is a different generation. I reme

    April 3, 2014

  • Why an assault rifle in the home? Why an assault rifle in the home? Dear Editor: I was pleased to learn that the owner of the M4 assault rifle used in the recent accidental killing of a Greensburg youth has been charged with two felonies. Regardless of the outcome of this deeply dis

    April 1, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.