"Pew Research Center survey finds declining support for government safety nets" - Well, yes! - Granite Grok

“Pew Research Center survey finds declining support for government safety nets” – Well, yes!

This article is kinda / mostly straight up and down…OK, it’s not if you think about it hard.  It tries hard to present an objective view but when I look at the examples given, the veil falls.  In fact, the examples that are inserted to try to arouse a sympathetic aire concerning the safety net simply either doesn’t begin to think of the important unasked questions, or sweeps them under the rug.  Like this one (reformatted):

Jasmine McIntyre is thankful for the social safety net supporting her and her unborn child at the Florence Crittenton home.  Without the residential program for at-risk teen moms, she would have scant money, little education and a bleak future.  Instead, she is pursuing a job and is ready to enroll in college courses…Living at Florence Crittenton in a sprawling, old house with a dozen other hormonal, pregnant teens is not how McIntyre imagined her life when her parents moved to South Carolina three years ago. She was a student at West Ashley High School when she was sexually assaulted and dropped out of school. However, she went on to earn her GED, and the man she alleges attacked her was arrested.  Then she learned she was pregnant (though not from the assault).

She decided to have her baby girl. McIntyre sent the baby to live with her own mother, who had since moved to Ohio, and made plans to move there herself. She was working two jobs when she learned she was pregnant again.  With little money and no higher education, McIntyre and her mother worried. What was her future? And what could she offer two small children?  Again, McIntyre decided to have the baby. But this time, now 19, she moved into Florence Crittenton, a home for at-risk, unwed young women….Its clients are more likely to stay in school, learn life skills and give birth to healthy babies. For every $1 the program spends, it saves $4 in tax dollars, Executive Director Lisa Belton said.

OK, let’s be blunt – real blunt, because if we shy away from saying the obvious, from asking the hard questions that now  are off limits (because of Political Correctness), we’re only dealing with results and not the root causes.

She made one bad mistake but followed it up with a good one: Unmarried, she committed an act that resulted in a pregnancy.  Unlike Obama, I don’t believe that people are not “punished” with a child; a situation was reached, a decision was made (regardless of what one might say about “the heat of the moment”), and now a natural result (or consequence, if you want).  Jasmine mad a bad decision – being old school, she had sex outside the bonds of matrimony – no one willing to provide for her and her new baby.  I DO say that the right decision was not to have the abortion – a very hard decision for many to make in the time where sex is made out to be a high order societal value and abortion is one to “get rid of the unwanted consequence” of that libertine philosophy.  And then made that same decision again – keep the second baby.

Back to the study – ya think that this behavior might well be part of the reason why attitudes towards government support are changing?

  • The annual survey showed dwindling public support for government social safety nets, down to the lowest point in nearly 20 years, even as more Americans need them (dropped by 10 points in five years, the survey found. Their ranks slipped from 69 percent in 2007 to 59 percent today).
  • An 11-point drop in those who agree that the government should help more needy people, even if it means going deeper in debt, down from 54 percent in 2007 to 43 percent today.
  • A 10-point drop in those who agree the government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep, down from 69 percent to 59 percent.
  • Overall, men are less likely to support government safety nets than women.  Women remain more supportive of government social safety nets than men. 64 percent of women and 54 percent of men support the government guaranteeing all citizens food and shelter
  • Majorities of Republicans now disagree that the government should guarantee every citizen enough to eat and a place to sleep (63 percent disagree, 36 percent agree) and take care of people who can’t take care of themselves (54 percent disagree, 40 percent agree).  Among Democrats, 75 percent agree the government should take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. 78 percent say basic food and shelter should be government guarantees.
  • Only 41 percent of Americans now say the government is run for the benefit of all people, reaching previous lows from the early 1990s.

Really?  Isn’t this compounding the problem, the huge error: “even if it means going deeper in debt“?  Isn’t this Liberalism on steroids? Literally not counting the cost to help others?  The jist of this is “it’s ok for others to have to pay the bill even as I feel good that I’ve outsourced my responsibility to someone else to actually, you know, help people.  I’m also not surprised about the men / women disparity – it does show the difference between men and women and their outlook on responsibility.

But I digress – back to the root cause.  While the Jasmine example was probably meant to evoke sympathy, having worked with folks like her in the past during  our daycare days, the root questions are:

  • Why do we reward bad behavior?  Why do we continue to mitigate “bad” consequences?
  • Why aren’t we demanding better behavior from not only our young adults, but why do some believe that everyone else should bear the consequence of those bad decisions?

To simply complain “Skip you’re just a cold-hearted Conservative that only cares about you and yours.  What about others in society!”.  That last question is exactly the point – but turn it around: why should others in society believe that they should not bear their own consequences and feel perfectly fine that others should bear their costs?  Truly, who is the selfish one here – the ones that demand unconditionally or me that say “I’ll help, but not when you keep making bad decisions and pushing that cost on me: when is enough, enough??

And that, I think, is what you are seeing in the poll results.  A black hole that only gets larger and larger and blinders as to what the dependency really is.  We’ve created the illusion that Government makes for independence – if you notice, nothing was mentioned about Jasmine being able to PAY for her college education.  Obama and the Democrats have nationalized student loans – student loans now outstrip credit card debt.  How is that “independence”?  Same thing with the other example in the story: Cappi Wilborn.  Why does she expect that Government should continue to pay more so her mom can live “independently” (go ahead and parse that statement for it’s illogic).  Why or how have we moved the definition (again) that independence from family is good, as long as it is a dependence on Government?

I went to the birthday party of a two-year old for a friend of the Eldest’s that we’ve known since his high school days.  Lots of kids of similar age – and none of the women that were there were married (except for TMEW) – and several examples of multiple baby-daddies were evident in listening to the conversations floating around us.  In each case, each of the gals were on governmental aid, most in several ways.

You know who I felt bad for the most?  Yes, the kids.  This mentality of having Government be Husband and Daddy is the worst for them (and TMEW had upfront and personal consequences of dealing with the aftermath of little kids, having formed a natural attachment, dealing with the emptiness of the  “next transient Mom or Dad” up and leaving as the relationship “didn’t fit me and my needs”.  You think that’s not selfish?

I have said for years that there does need to be a safety net – there are times that bad things happen to good people even when they are doing “all the right things”.  Through no fault of their own, and the inability of family and friends to assist (or continue to assist), may need that extra help.  But this is not a safety net – this IS a morality issue and an issue that Government is ill suited to work on.

The Rev. Ed Grant contends that Christians have a biblical calling to help those in need.

“But I believe the church does a far better job than the government in caring for the poor,” said Grant, pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in West Ashley which has a variety of outreach ministries. For one, very limited government budgets require thriftiness. Plus, churches can bring people into a church or a deeper faith that can help them find long-term help and meaning — a la the notion of “teach a man to fish,” Grant said.  “Too often, government programs perpetuate dependency by simply giving a handout,” Grant said. “Christians give a loving hand up.”