Comments about ‘American government is stingy when it comes to supporting families’

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Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT

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Enough is enough!
Saint George, UT

It is not the government's 'job' to do all that. Who pays for all of it? Answer: taxpayers. The money has to come from somewhere.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

This article would be much better if it went on to detail the benefits that families in other countries are eligible for, including the actual amount they receive. A simple table would make it 1000% better.

Not sure if we can blame the author or the editors, but it seems the article spends most of its space trying to talk-down the conclusion, with lots of arm-waving about all the benefits that some companies offer on their own. It's as if someone read the original and decided it was too harsh against the US. As it's an article about government benefits, this kind of misses the point. In countries where the government is providing the benefits, companies don't have to, which results in higher profitability and a faster growth rate. Conservatives, please note: in part, this is why the U.S. is no longer number one in a number of economic areas.

By they way, the OECD is not a think-tank, it's the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a consortium of 34 nations, descendant of the agency that administered the Marshall Plan in post-WWII Europe.

Murray, UT

@Enough is enough!

Think of benefits as a non-selective investment in our fellow citizens. Rather than be a scrooge McDuck, try assuming that the majority of people want to be productive tax payers and make mistakes or might need assistance at different periods of their life. Also, I'd love to see a single person who has avoided one form of government assistance throughout their life.

Salem, UT

Perhaps we should look at educational attainment levels of our children, or life expectancy, or infant mortality rates or any number of other measures of well-being and then notice that the US generally looks like a developing country ion comparison to the countries mentioned in the article- but I assure you spending on families has nothing to do with well-being- just keep believing that and practice all that justified self-interest because that is what the natural man does ohhh so well- takes care of himself at the expense of others

American Fork, UT

I don't know how my wife and I would have been able to have a family here versus being able to do it with mat leave available to us in Canada. No, it's not free. It's part of the employment insurance system all working people pay into. And it reflects the importance of family there which, for all our lip service to it here, is not at all reflected in action.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Nonsense! The U.S. does not need spending, welfare, or child raising advice from France, or other "advanced" countries.

The basic premise that it is somehow "The Government's" responsibility to take care of raising children or providing for them is not just flawed, it is the root of much of the failure of families and cultures in the world today.

Charity is good, and Americans are among the most generous people in the world, especially when it comes to children. However, coercive confiscation of earnings from producers to give funds to those less successful (and usually less hard working, less educated, less religious, less married) is nothing but socialism.

As a debate starter, this is an excellent article. As a highlight for a prescription to cure the ills of families and children, it is a total failure.

The solution is for everyone to finish school and before you have children get married and earn enough to support children. It is the parent's responsibility, not the village, or taxpayers!

Elwood P. Suggins

The government shouldn't be concerned with supporting families, but it should stay out of the way of families. The government should be concerned with preserving freedom and economic opportunity for families (including very low taxes), so that families don't need the government's help. We don't want families becoming dependent on the government.

Cottonwood, CA

It's the family's job to take care of the family. When things go wrong there is a safety net. Do a little research and see what a family two plays the system can squeeze out of your tax dollar. The French are pathetic,crying for four day 30 hr weeks. The people paying for those who live off the govt. are the people themselves . We shouldn't compare ourselves to other countries, absolutely apples and oranges

Grand Junction, CO

This is the same as all comparisons. Apples to oranges. Taxes and costs to individuals in all of those other countries are different than here. This article is meant to stir up anger amongst us when there simply is no way to compare the U.S. to those other countries!!!!

Burley, ID

I'd love to see a single person who has avoided one form of government assistance throughout their life." slcdenizen

Hmm ... I guess I'm your guy. I have never been on any form of government assistance in my entire life - no welfare, no social security disability, and no state assistance programs.

Would I take government assistance if I had absolutely no other choice? Probably, but I wouldn't be happy about it.

Burley, ID

The Federal government has spent more than 15 Trillion dollars since 1964 trying to eliminate poverty. How much is a Trillion dollars?

It's a million stacks of money, where each stack is worth a million dollars. And the Federal government has spent 15 times that much. In other words, they could have made 15 million people millionaires simply by handing them the money.

The Federal government is inefficient and wasteful in the way it manages assistance programs. And as long as it is charge of welfare, it will never eliminate poverty from United States.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "XelaDave" yes, lets look at those things. First, when it comes to educational attainment, the US educates ALL its children. Nowhere else in the world do they educate all of their kids. They usually drop the underperforming kids around age 16 and push them into factories and trades. As for life expectancy, the US has the highest life expectancy once you factor out accidental deaths. When you eliminate the socialist bias of most studies, the US ranks first, or else in the top 20 in most studies looking at well being.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

Rvalens2 those aren't the only types of government assistance. You went through an education system payed for by taxes, that's government assistance. You get tax deductions for all kinds of things, that's a form of government assistance. There are many more examples. You can argue that these aren't "real" government assistance but to me that's just an argument over semantics. You use government services all the time we all do. We all benefit from some kind of government assistance. Where I hear people talk about welfare and food stamps and so on with such contempt what I really hear is that "those people" don't deserve government assistance, the the definition of "those people" being very clear.

I would gladly have you pay back to the government every dime they have ever spent on you and give it to someone more worthy.

Brian Moody
colorado springs, CO

@The Wraith

Receiving a tax deduction is government assistance?!? This is an example of our nation's thinking. Here's apparently how it works:

Step A: The government requires you to pay exorbitant taxes.
Step B: They decide that if you waste your money on green technology (or whatever else they've deemed appropriate), you can pay less taxes.
Step C: As a result of paying less in taxes, you've now been "assisted" by the government.
Step D: You're now in on the gig and have to support the other bogus programs the government dreams up.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT


You need to do a quick Google search on compulsory education around the world. Almost all nations have some laws concerning compulsory education for all children. Every European nation has such laws and generally rank with the United States in the percentage of children actually educated. In the US depending on the state children can legally stop going to school anywhere from 15 to 18 - right around that 16 years of age you mentioned about other countries. However, it is true that in some countries they don't bother educating the very poor or under performing children. But the idea that the US is the only country in the world that has compulsory education is, well, there's not a word at how laughable that is.

As for the socialist biased studies and that the US is first in well being is laughable as well. We do well in some health categories but are absolutely terrible in others. Our ranking in just infant mortality rates is an embarrassment.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

@Brian Moody

Those are far from the only kinds of deductions. As just one example I get to pay less taxes than my sister simply because my kids go to a day care and she stays home with them. Therefore, the government is assisting me in paying for child care.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "The Wraith" you are wrong. For example, look at the German education system. If by grade 5 your child does not show sufficient promise, they are put into the "trades" track, where they are denied college entrance and receive vocational training. The same system is alive and well throughout Europe and Asia. If you don't meet the criteria, you are put into vocational school, only a portion of the kids would receive an education equivalent to what the US does in its schools.

As for the infant mortality rate, again, you are wrong. Read "Behind the Baby Count" in USNews. They explain how the US counts anything born with a pulse as a live birh, while nations like England only count it a live birht if it meets specific weight criteria, and other nations only count it a live birth if the child lives for a specified time after birth.

If you look at the WHO reports the US is top in every category except for socialist healthcare systems.

You may not like what I have written, but those are the facts.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@rvalens: If you went to a public school, or attended a state university, or drove on a state or federal highway, you accepted government assistance. If you work in an industry that benefits from research grants, you accepted government assistance. If you work in an industry tied to the defense or aerospace establishments, you accepted government assistance. If anyone in your family worked for a public school, a municipality, or other government agency, you accepted public assistance. If you ate a school lunch, you accepted government assistance. If you use electricity or the telephone or the internet, you accepted government assistance. If you have municipal water or sewer service, you accepted government assistance. If you accepted tax deductions for dependents, donations, or anything else, you accepted government assistance. If you eat inspected meat or licensed dairy products, you accepted government assistance. If you listen to the radio, or watch tv, you accepted government assistance.

Government assistance is distributed in many forms. We all benefit from living in a society that allows us to pool some resources to provide some services and offer us some protections.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

I have looked at all those Redshirt; very closely actually. They still in no way validate what you are saying.

The United States in not the only nation that educates all of their children.

Our infant mortality rate is an embarrassment for a country that supposedly values children as much as we do. It's even more embarrassing that it's been so bad for so long.

The United States of America and do a great deal more than what we are doing to improve education and healthcare especially for the poor. The sad thing is that so many people in America view anyone as poor as just lazy. It's pathetic that when we talk about helping the poor the argument always devolves into "well we actually are doing great - any study or statistic that says we aren't is wrong - and anyone who is poor is just lazy and wants to live off the government".

Burley, ID

@A Quaker
@The Wraith

To me there is a big difference between accepting a government handout, in the form of a check, and being forced to use the only roads, schools, telephone, electricity, school lunch program, and tax system available. Besides, I can assure you that I have paid more than my "fair share" to support all of those programs.

I never asked the government to do any of the things you listed. All of that was FORCED on me. I also haven't ever stood in a line to have the government hand me money.

One day soon, the Federal government is going to run out of "other people's money." The day that happens, those who are relying on the Federal government (for a check) are going to be sorely disappointed when the checks don't arrive.

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