If Mitch/Cruz/Etc want to take away public assistance, they also need to ensure that all workers in this country are 1. paid a living wage, 2. have decent, affordable housing, and 3. are offered affordable health insurance (or can participate in a single payer system).
Many people work full time to line the pockets of the Billionaire's Club but they are not paid a living wage themselves and need public assistance. This is shameful.
Many others on public assistance are truly disabled people (people with physical and mental illnesses, or advanced age). They really need their benefits to survive decently. Some receive minimal but essential benefits that make decency possible.
Yes, there are people who take advantage of public assistance---and often the medical industry takes advantage of people on Medicaid.
But if people were paid decently, they would not need public assistance.
If people didn’t have to spent half or more of their income on shelter, they wouldn’t need public assistance.
If people could afford health care, and healthy food, they would be healthier.
If people could get a good education without loans and without having to work extra (and low-paying) jobs to cover the high cost of shelter and survival, they would be prepared to make a better living.
How can one get health care in America? There are only a few ways right now:
- Have very good insurance at work Even before the year 2004 many businesses had stopped offering health insurance. Often those who do offer health insurance have premiums that just don’t compute with the low wages offered.
- Be very rich so that you can afford great insurance on your own and also have money to pay for what the insurance doesn't cover.
- Be very poor so that you qualify for Medicaid (and you stop qualifying for Medicaid as soon as you're barely above poverty level---but you still can’t afford to get sick because there is a lot Medicare alone doesn't pay for).
- Be semi-rich so that you can still afford hundreds of dollars in premiums a month.
Our system is the way it is because of the greed of the corporate state, the insurance industry, and the medical industry (which often takes advantage of Medicaid as well as all insurance; in addition, the costs of medical care in America are jacked up far beyond those of other countries).
A family takes care of its own. Families make communities. Communities should provide for their people by offering structure, integrity, and services (clean water, electricity, roads, etc., paid for by tax money).
Communities make up a nation. A nation is composed of groups of human beings. A nation needs to have at least minimal government to help things run smoothly.
Again, would a family throw a disabled child out the door? Will our nation throw away the disabled for the love of money----and give it to the rich in the form of tax cuts?
The fact is: people are NOT created equal mentally, physically, or emotionally. We do not have all the same talents. We cannot be whatever we want to be. Nor are people the same in life experiences. A person might have done very well financially IF a child hadn’t got sick or the hurricane hadn’t wiped out their assets and health and---all sorts of things can happen to a human being in spite of all efforts. And besides, should the making of money really be the highest goal in life? And when a person is wealthy, isn't it important how that person got wealthy? How that person made the money in the first place? I don't think it's enough to just be "successful." So much wealth is made through slave labor. It just isn't called that.
Also, all of us are important. Once the garbage people went on strike in NYC---they very quickly got paid more. Without them doing their job, everything started to fall apart pretty fast.
Everyone deserves basic food, shelter, health care---and education to the extent of ability---in a community. And every job contributes. There is no job that is unnecessary. Everyone should be able to work with dignity. Everyone should be paid well enough to be able to afford decent shelter, healthy food, health care, and education.
When greed rules, poverty and disease rule. Also, ugliness rules. Beauty is not an important value in our culture. Now our government, tending to privatization and deregulation, and the buying and selling of the country, has withdrawn support for the arts in all its forms.
When we work to the good of all, we are all taken care of, and we can not only receive what we need, but we can give to others, too.