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Comments about ‘Spending habits of families receiving public aid vs. families who do not’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 19 2013 9:58 p.m. MST

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Ballplayer
Spanish Fork, UT

An example of the misleading nature of the conclusions can be found in the "Insurance and Pensions" portion of the graph. People on public assistance programs don't get subsidized life insurance or pensions, both of which would fall in this category. So they probably don't spend anything at all on these products. What little there spend here would be for auto policies, and perhaps a health premium if they don't qualify for 100% subsidy. People who are not on that assistance plan there finances, and purchase appropriate insurance products to protect their families against risk.

Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO

Here's a secret, too. Commit a crime, be placed in prison -- get free education, housing, food, healthcare, dental care, eye care, gym facilities, clothing, security... Just saying, if you are willing to give up "freedom" and make adjustments... Those on welfare assistance (at least in theory) have their financial lives open to ridicule and have to juggle jumping through legal hoops. If this really makes some folks envious, by all means take your piece of the pie.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Way back in 1973 I heard Elder Featherstone talk about welfare in conference.
Maybe you remember it, too. He told of a Bishop who gave 67 pounds of beef each month to one family. He was teaching a lesson that welfare programs need common sense.
Articles like this do not help us control expenses and incentives.
Do these housing costs reflect the subsidy for housing under section 8? Or are the figures based on what the person paid?
Torture numbers and they will confess to anything.

one old man
Ogden, UT

DNSub says: "Within food vendors, the SKU codes should show what was purchased, and I bet it is not wholesome basic foods and baby formula, but mainly junk food and prepared stuff."

The first comment is completely false. Check Snopes and other fact checkers.

The second is OPINION not founded in fact. But there is some basis to it. Look at prices in a grocery store. The food with lowest prices is usually not very healthy while food that is will have large price tags.

Thus, if a person is trying to stretch an EBT card to feed a family, what will they buy? What CAN they buy?

Here's a challenge for those who feel others are should not receive our help -- try living in a wheelchair using public assistance for a couple of months. You will change your opinions.

one old man
Ogden, UT

The thoughtless selfishness displayed in many comments here is simply pathetic.

Ranch
Here, UT

The comments on this thread lead me to question the veracity of those who claim they're follower's of Christ.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

To those passing judgment on comments here as unchristlike, may I suggest a couple of ideas:
1) If we pay our taxes we are 100% compliant with a secular government's program. To extend Christian virtues to such programs is foolhardy, but as long as I pay my taxes, I should be considered a charitable person according to you critics.
2) If I pay my fast offerings and volunteer at the storehouse, you likewise have no complaint. Besides, you have no idea what I am doing as a Christian.
3) Do you recall when the Savior chided the folks who followed him around the lake after being fed? Was he being unchristlike to turn them away when they were looking for a second handout?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

We know how much the govt spends on assistance programs, we don't know what religious organizations spend on assistance programs. We don't know what percent of fast offerings and humanitarian aid collected every year by churches are disbursed every year. One study by Indiana Univ found that of money donated to churches, 20% went to programs for the needy and 70% went for church operations.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"If we pay our taxes we are 100% compliant with a secular government's program. To extend Christian virtues to such programs is foolhardy."

Now that's something I can agree with. Who cares if it meets Christian, Muslim, Taoist, Buddhist, or any other religious standard. Social welfare programs are how we as an American society have decided to deal with our fellow citizens in need. This has nothing to do with religion.

If you want to conflate these programs with some religious principle you support in order to assuage your conscience that's your prerogative but please don't transfer that meaning to the rest of us.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...According to the Atlantic, the welfare queen is a myth...".

Wait a minute...

Ronald Reagan spent years directing his political messaging around lampooning the welfare queen...

Why would Ronald Reagan lampoon a myth?

one old man
Ogden, UT

I just returned from the Hale Center Theater's EXCELLENT performance of the classic story of an ultra-conservative Republican who, with the help of four phantasmal visitors comes to realize the error of his ways. In one night he changes from a man consumed by greed and lust for wealth and is transformed into a man whose generosity and fairness will illuminate and bless the world and people around him. He becomes a Democrat and the world is better for it.

This should be required watching for people who have bought the cruel mythology of today's GOP and conservative hate radio hosts.

The Hale Center Theater's actors caught the spirit of the season, and as one of them says at the end, "God bless us, everyone!"

Everyone. Even those who, for whatever reason, must depend in part on help from others.

Walt Nicholes
Orem, UT

This is a classic example of how to mislead with statistics. First of all, what type of averages were used - mean, median, mode? It doesn't say, but I will guess that they use mode to emphasize their points. Second, are they comparing apples and oranges? If we assume that both sets of subgroups have the same income, then the total spending doesn't match up. If a family who "earns" $40K a year is compared with a family who "collects" $40K who spends more on housing and food and so forth. Clearly a family making $100K will spend higher in virtually all categories than a family that makes "$40K.

Perhaps percentages of income should be shown rather than total values, and, as a control, a family who "earns" $100K should be used for contrast with a family who "earns" $40K.

With a limit on words I can't go on, but you will get the picture. As Disraeli said, there are Lies, Darned lies (cleaned up for the DN) and Statistics.

Hauulamom
Hauula, HI

Could they be spending less on housing because they have subsidized rent? Could they be spending less on food because they receive food assistance with WIC and food banks? Could you be averaging in the "very rich" to skew the data to make it look like those supporting themselves ( along with those on government assistance) spend more?
When I go to a grocery store in Hawaii (where I live) I see steak in the cart of those using government assistance to buy food after I have passed by the hamburger without buying any because it was too expensive. I see professionally decorated birthday cakes purchased with food stamps when I just bought a cake mix on sale because it cost less than baking from scratch. I have never once afforded a professionally decorated sheet cake. Our son in college using food stamps and WIC ate far far better than his parents who were trying to live on only two incomes.

AJC
Eden, UT

Why is a family on public assistance spending $100/month of other peoples generosity on its "entertainment"? What kind of mindset feels justified in doing that? It is a sign of how gov't run welfare destroys the sensibilities of the excipients.o

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