Let’s take that ‘taker’ scenario out to its logical conclusion
In response to Briggs Arrington’s “An open letter to President Obama,” I would like to paint you a picture of life as a “taker” as you described.
(Mr. Briggs is planning to “arrange to be laid off” from his job so he can live off of government assistance.)
OK, so I’m imagining that you are a white male over the age of 60, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you are a married father of two small children.
First of all, you say you would “arrange to be laid off” from your job and would live off of what you already have in addition to government assistance.
First of all, if you have over $2,000 in the bank in any form, you are disqualified from food stamps, TANF and Section 8, so you’d have to “arrange” to get rid of that too.
So let’s say you are laid off and would qualify for unemployment. That alone would immediately disqualify you from the food stamp program, welfare and any Section 8 housing. So let’s say you just plain quit.
OK, so you have two kids and a wife who would also like to sit around eating bon bons with you. So you apply for Section 8.
Have you ever seen a Section 8 house? While there are some exceptions, most Section 8 housing that you could afford with no job whatsoever would be a housing project. Also, there is a waiting period for Section 8.
You would NEVER qualify for Social Security Disability unless you were truly disabled, attorney or no attorney (my father is a Social Security disability lawyer). So that is out.
The Obama Phone was actually started by Ronald Reagan in 1984 and called LIFELINE, providing a phone to income-eligible people in order for them to be able to call 911, a doctor for a sick child, a phone number for a prospective employer to call, etc. Lifeline has just expanded to cover cell phones since they are cheaper than land lines now. So you would have a phone.
That leaves food stamps and welfare. So, a family of four (with two children) would qualify for $658 a month in food stamps.
OK, so now you say you would get welfare (AFCD, Aid to Families with Dependent Children). Well, guess what!? It does not exist anymore.
Now there is the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and you have to be in a work program for at least 30 hours per week to qualify, one parent has to be out of the home and only children qualify for TANF. (Even then the maximum amount for a family of three is $325 per month)
So, let’s see — a family of four with no income could possibly have a roof and $658 a month for food and a phone.
Sounds like a fabulous life. The life of a “taker.” You might want to rethink your plan.
My point is that to be out of work, or to be a single parent, or to be a taker, is no picnic. It’s a hard life that no one wants, contrary to what your party (or Rush Limbaugh) might have you think.
Peachtree City, Ga.