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Comments about ‘Child poverty up in 2011; effects can span lifetime’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 21 2012 11:06 p.m. MDT

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cjb
Bountiful, UT

We are constantly told it is unconstitutional for government to help people in poverty. This in spite of the fact the one of the powers given to congress is the power to tax to promote the general welfare. So much for so called constitutional experts. Here in Utah we have a senator who claims to be one and during the Obamacare debates got this very issue wrong. The very term constitutional expert is intimidating. It implies one has to be highly educated to understand the document. Not so, All one has to do to know what is in the constitution is to read it. I know because I have done it and it ISN'T that difficult.

GrandmaSusan
CLearfield, KY

Children who supposedly live in poverty today have 10 times as much as we did in the 60's and we didn't consider ourselves as suffering. I guess that's why our kids are so fat today.

Instereo
Eureka, UT

In the scripted moments Romney cares about 100% of our citizens but when he's unscripted and talking to the megafundraiser type people, he writes off 47% of them. The children in this article are part of the 47%. As a nation, we are stronger with them then we are without them.

worf
Mcallen, TX

GrandmaSusan,

You are so right! Children today have:

* cell phones
* free breakfast & lunch at school
* computers
* television
* abundance of government benefits
* more funding in education
* etc

Our poverty struck people have so much. In many cases, the term "general welfare" has been an excuse for entitlements, and justifying laziness.

Grandpa Worf

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Instereo,

I know we all know the 'teach him how to fish' concept, but apply that to your argument: If all we do is 'give to those who take' and the takers only 'take take take' without giving back, then we are most certainly not stronger with them(again, according to your own argument). It is simple math. A parasite that only feeds off your body and doesn't give back doesn't make you stronger. No amount of denial changes that fact.

I'm not saying we shouldn't give. If in our democracy we choose as a society to enact such a system of tax dollars going to charity then I can support that as well. I'm not arguing support for social security, income security, and all of our other broken systems. But if we democratically choose to feed the hungry and build up the poor in education and living conditions then I am all for it. I believe that helping those in a condition beneath your own is right. But we're not doing this.

The problem: liberals want to continue the parasitical system and without permission. Government taking isn't moral, people giving is.

Laura Ann
Layton, UT

When I was a young girl and teenager, we suffered from poverty. It was caused because of divorce. Marriage is the best way to combat poverty in this country. Even if you are poor, if you have parents who care, you can overcome it. I was the first child in our family to graduate from college. Things got a lot better when my mother remarried after my birth father just disappeared. Study after study shows that most of the people poverty are single moms, just like my was mother. Even though we were poor, my mother never asked for help from the government. She taught me to work hard. I have Multiple Sclerosis and I have never asked for help from the government. Now, I do know that many people with my disease need federal help and I am glad to help them, but there are so many more people on government medicare, or medicaid that it is ridiculous. You can break the cycle, if you want to. My mother also grew up in poverty.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

"Government taking isn't moral, people giving is."

I feel that it is important to elaborate on that point. What people on all sides of the political spectrum are forgetting is that their own agenda is getting in the way of helping people. Liberals argue to give, conservatives argue to stop, and ultimately everyone gives in to a 'feed the children' argument in the end because these things still get voted in. Rather than fixing the current programs, our government only enacts new ones or throws more money at the problem, creating more debt and never fixing anything. The parasitical and financially bankrupt system continues.

What we need is not new spending/programs, but revised spending/programs.

1) To be functional, we need to only provide help to those who will contribute, only what they can, to that helping system. (No less or more efficient than the LDS welfare program)

2) To remain moral, any citizen's property rights ought to be protected, and be able to opt out of paying into a system if they don't support it. I shouldn't be forced to support a broken system, a functional one (like LDS welfare) I would instantly.

peter
Alpine, UT

A voice of reason--you are right, there isn't a better run welfare program than the LDS welfare program, along with its twin program "the perpetual education fund," because they combined lift people out of poverty instead of sustaining them in poverty, like our current dole-oriented government programs do. Poverty is more than a physical condition, it is mainly a mindset that can only be overcome through education and hard work.
Thomas Jefferson wisely said, "If we can but keep the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, we will be a happy people."

Dadof5sons
Montesano, WA

@cjb,
the general welfare at hand is building roads bridges things that all citizens might use or enjoy! Not the redistrabution of wealth! being poor is not hereditary! and if I wanted to be poor I want to be poor in America! were even the porrest amongst us have cable TV and a cell phone and even if your homeless there is at least 20 homeless shelters i know of in the salt lake area alone and were i live at least ten. were if they want to live by the rules they get a cot and three hot meals and job placement services.

peter
Alpine, UT

Instereo--"We are stronger with them than we are without them." A nation is not stronger with poverty laden people. We are stronger with an educated, productive people. This article plainly states that poverty is increasing under the burden of big government programs and high unemployment. Obama has done nothing to help the working class, energy, growing the job market, evidenced by fewer people working today than when he took office, regardless of how many jobs were created. Even GM wants to get away from the tentacles of big government control. Romney stated a truth, that 47% of the people rely on government dole, many of whom are capable of working but don't because they either can't find a job, live better on the dole, or simply don't want to work. America will only rise out of this poverty/government dole through better education and work, which is in many cases a personal decision. Government would best help provide that opportunity by getting out of the people's way.

worf
Mcallen, TX

A voice of Reason,

Too many people abuse the entitlement system. Parents with new cars picking up their children who qualified for free lunches.

Yes, there are exceptions, but many can care for themselves without burdening the others. Many healthy people who could be working if there was an urgency. Why make others pay for them?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

"Parents with new cars picking up their children who qualified for free lunches"
Are the parents lying on their applications, or is the income level set so high that people can afford to buy new cars, computers etc, or is the child living in a foster home or did the family just recently/temporarily become disadvantaged?

Free lunch programs are administered locally.
Maybe worf, you can jot down the license plate numbers and turn them into the school district so they can catch the "cheaters."

I know a child who gets free lunches and they are important to her well-being. The (single)mother has advanced multiple sclerosis. The $1500-1600/mon they get from disability makes them ineligible for foodstamps. However, the mother is physically unable to prepare food at home so school lunch is the best meal she has every day. It is a very sad situation.

When the budget for nutrition programs are cut, children are likely to bear the consequences.
Is it worth it?

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

peter,

Great post and a fantastic quote! Definitely a keeper.

Worf,

I'm not saying that we should 'make' anyone pay for others. If we the people democratically choose to use tax dollars to help others, then that is our choice. The people have every right to choose which economic system to use (as long as individual rights are protected). Personally, I wouldn't have the government run welfare. I would rather people volunteer to help. But if we elect a government that chooses to, then I believe allowing an opt out is necessary to maintain peace and fair justice.

I don't believe in 'burdening' anyone. I believe that some people have burdens and others can help. Help is a good thing as long as it is actually helping (and teaching is a necessary part of helping). My real argument here isn't "pro social government". I'm saying that IF you are going to have a welfare program, THEN it needs to be functional AND protect everyone's property rights and right of choice.

I believe that help is good only on the conditions of choice (not entitlement to others fruits) and that the help actually helps.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Truthseeker,

Your analogy of the struggling mother and children is indeed sad. However, I would suggest you consider the following:

The real moral outrage in such situations isn't that the government isn't forcing help out of others, it's that the help wasn't offered to begin with.

Let's say an LDS Church ward has 100 people and 1 of them is physically unable to cook. It is only right that society helps them. Now say that society dwindles in its moral quality and chooses not to help; that the a government taxes and forces the help out of others. 1) the lack of freedom is immoral 2) the lack of my property rights is immoral 3) it causes unrest and peace will not be maintained. 4) The government help fails anyway.

Now take that picture, you have an immoral government forcing an immoral people (whether the government system is functional or not). No possible good will ever come from it. And if the peace and freedom are not maintained, such a people will be destroyed anyway.

What is needed is not more force or more debt. We need to be better people, rich and poor.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"Poverty' is not the root cause of the suffering of some children and their condemnation to a life with little success.

As Laura Ann's eloquently stated facts of her life point out, it is children living in single parent homes that is the root problem.

Too many children are born to unwed mothers (yeah, that's a value judgement- the kids will suffer!) to mothers who are too young to be responsible for the life of another human being, even if it is their child, and the "sperm donors" too often provide zero love or support for their offspring. These are the consequences of extremely bad decision making by too many young people today.

Society (and especially taxpayers) have generously provided trillions of dollars already in the "war on poverty" with almost nothing to show for it. Largess has been accompanied by lowered expectations of standards of behavior, resulting in further poverty and more children stuck in it.

Instead of harassing taxpayers who fail to pay, the government should be harassing parents who fail to support their children and those who procreate without first marrying. If you tolerate misbehavior, then you, not I should be willing to pay.

worf
Mcallen, TX

A voice of Reason,

Thanks for your post. It's human nature for people helping people. It's also our nature to resist coercion.

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Do note, it's the so-called "Right to Work" states that have the poorest education outcomes and the poorest children. Instead of vilifying the voice of labor, people ought to realize that when you give unilateral power to those who already have the most, they don't give back.

"Money is speech," so those who have more have more access to power and influence. Yet still Mitt Romney is not satisfied. He feels that the 47% who pay no federal income tax, because of their poverty, are not making their fair contribution to society. The pride cycle goes 'round.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:VOR
It is sad that people don't do more to help. But i imagine many people are consumed with paying their own bills, and taking care of their own families.

Actually this mother and child are receiving help from church members and non-LDS neighbors as well. It really does take a village. They are just 2 people and there are many others like them. Are you donating your time every week to cook, clean, babysit or drive someone to Dr. appts or to the grocery store? If not, then you should find someone that needs that kind of help. It is nice Republicans have this lofty idea that people who need help should be at the mercy of volunteer charity. Many people needing assistance are segregated in large cities or small rural areas. Their neighbors are just like them, struggling to get by. Are there people driving from the "burbs" to help? No. Get real.

The LDS church is a huge presence in UT. Why doesn't UT lead the way and show how they get all needy Utahns off of govt assistance solely through volunteer charity?

John C. C.
Payson, UT

It's OK for people voluntarily redistribute their income to the poor. As a matter of fact, it's a moral imperative. The more we have, the more we ought to give. It's also OK for a group of people to voluntarily tax themselves to do so, especially in a government created in manner that reflects the will of the people, as outlined in our marvelous Constitution.

I think it's rather ironic that those who complain the most about doing their duty, as outlined in our laws (calling it forced charity), also like to think of themselves as patriots and advocates for freedom. Poverty isn't freedom and freedom isn't free.

Come on, America, lets come together and help those who need it. You judge the hungry children too harshly.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

As usual a lot of judgemental people on here. Blaming the poor for being poor. The Book of Mormon condems such an attitude. Read what king Benjamin said of this in the book of Mosiah. Everyone is willing to criticize and find fault with others. Regardless of blame no child should have to live in poverty. I am single and make double the poverty level. And I struggle to pay my bills. I can't conceive of trying to support a family on $22 K a year. I say impossible. Come on people lighten up with the self righteous judgemental attitudes. You may find yourself in dire need some day. The lord has a way of humbling the prideful.

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