American government is stingy when it comes to supporting families


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  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 25, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    To "Schnee" shouldn't is scare you that in Germany it is illegal to educate your own children?

    Actually the US infant mortality rate is not below anybody else. We don't know where we stand because the way each country counts a live birth is so different. The US counts anything with a pulse, while other countries only count it a live birh if it meets certain length and weight criteria, or weeks gestation. See "Behind the Baby Count" in US News.

    It is a myth that there is a chunk of people who don't have insurance and can't afford it. According to the Census, before Obamacare 38% of the uninsured could afford insurance but chose not to buy it. According to Census data another 57% of the uninsured qualify for Medicare/Medicaid but again choose to not sign up. That means that 95% of the uninsured (Pre-Obamacare) could have been insured but CHOSE not to. Of the uninsured only 5% didn't have insurance and could not afford it. That means of the 40 million, only 200,000 in the US were unable to buy insurance because of finances.

    Universal healthcare never has been a basic human right.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    "The same can be said for pre-mature infant births"

    The U.S.'s infant mortality rate is below almost every first world nation. How do these two facts jive together? Because the problem with U.S. health care is access. We have a sizable chunk of people who don't have health insurance and can't afford care. We have the best healthcare money can buy... and that's where our problem is. We have the most expensive system in the world and we decided that universal healthcare is not a basic human right.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    If the US is the only one that educates all our kids, then why are people outraged over Germany going after that one family for trying to homeschool? A ban on homeschooling is coupled with their mandate that all kids go through their educational system.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 23, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    To "UT Brit" yes, actually look at the healthcare systems throughout the world, and in the US. Cancer and disease survival rates are lower throughout most of the world when compared to the US. The same can be said for pre-mature infant births. The US saves babies that would be left to die in most any other country, including yours. When you remove accidental deaths, the US has the longest lifespan. The US is able to take care of all its people, regardless of cost.

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 20, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    @Brian Moody

    Or how about look at every other first world country? The ones whos healthcare systems beat the US's by almost every discernible metric? Wouldnt that be a good idea instead?

  • Brian Moody colorado springs, CO
    June 20, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Those pushing for socialized medicine need look no further than the VA fiasco that's blown up recently. When workers (in any industry) are employed by the government, they have no incentive to work harder / smarter, and customers will suffer. It's a simple formula. We've seen this play out in dramatic fashion with the VA.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 20, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    in order to get money from the government you have to qualify with the following...

    1. be unwilling to work
    2. show proof that you vote party line democrat
    3. being a minority helps alot

    that's about it...

  • Brian Moody colorado springs, CO
    June 20, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    @The Wraith

    To your comment about poor people. Some poor people are lazy. My guess is that many - maybe even most - work hard to earn what that do. But unfortunately, many of them have been deceived by the falsehoods about class warfare that are being perpetuated by the current administration and the media.

    Either way, throwing money at the problem will not achieve anything. Ever since Lyndon Johnson "waged war on poverty", the poor have fared much worse in our society. Statistically since the 1960's, the poor work fewer hours (even after normalizing for unemployment), have less stable family situations, are less religious, and are more prone to crime. The middle and upper classes have not suffered the same fate. Big government solutions have done nothing but destroy the lower class.

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 20, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    Heres the problem redshirt. You say that the elderly are cut from care, can you explain how my 85 year old got brain surgery last year? How did my 90 year old grandad get heart surgery?
    Unfortunately there are waiting times but overall we enjoy a high quality of care.
    Okay please explain the train wreck of statistics from the US please?

    Still waiting on that education list.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 20, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    To "UT Brit" yawn......You forget that within your NHS, they cut off the elderly from care as policy. They deny smokers some treatment, as policy. They refuse to pay for many theraputic injections as a way to save money. Wait lists are common for simple things like tonsils and knee surgery. The wait list for arthritus is so long that when treatment comes it is often too late to allow the patient to live without pain. Premature babies are allowed to die if they do not meet the policy for weeks gestation and weight, as a matter of policy.

    It seems that I know more about the policies of your NHS than you do. Those are system policies for your government program. Yes some individual hospitals may be bad in the US, but it is not due to systemic policies that are killing people like they are in the UK.

  • Brian Moody colorado springs, CO
    June 20, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    @A Quacker
    @The Wraith

    The government has a role as defined in the Constitution. It's main role is to protect its citizens. I gratefully accept that assistance. I honor members of the military who risk their lives on my behalf. In that sense, I definitely benefit from government assistance.

    At issue isn't whether or not we can find some nook in the world where the government has benefited someone, somehow, somewhere. At issue is whether or not the government has crossed the line on what its role should be. We have become a nation of dependents. We have abused the purpose of government. We are becoming weak, lazy and undisciplined. The more we turn to government to solve the challenges we face, the further down that path we go. In order to preserve our strength as a nation we must return to our roots of personal responsibility and restricted government. This article is perpetuating the problem by promoting the idea that somehow when someone has a kid, it's the government's job to make life easy for that parent.

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 20, 2014 8:59 a.m.


    "Nowhere else in the world do they educate all of their kids"

    Okay you make that statement, I am telling you its false. Whats the problem here? List me those countries in europe that deny higher education to its kids. I can wait for it.......................

    Again Redshirt, I have experienced healthcare in the US and the UK. Having you tell me about the supposed poor healthcare system from someone who has had no experience with it is again laughable. How many times have you been treated by the NHS?
    There are problems with the NHS for sure, its by no means a perfect system. What you dont acknowledge is the gaping chasm of a difference between the problems you face in the US compared to what I face in the UK. I will state again, I would never want to experience the US healthcare system ever again.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 20, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    To "UT Brit" you do realize that there are more countries than the UK and the US. Germany, Parts of Europe, and much of Asia require that students pass a test to go onto college.

    I would discuss the extreamly poor healthcare system in the UK with you, but you have yet to even acknoledge that the news reports showing systemic problems coming out the UK exist.

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 20, 2014 2:57 a.m.


    Why dont you speak to people from other countries such as myself. At 16 you can leave school and get a job in the UK. Thats all down to the choice of the student, they can leave or progress through A-levels or NVQ's and eventually onto university if desired. Having you state that underachievers are automatically pushed into these programs is a joke. You obviously have no idea how education systems work in other countries.

    As for your healthcare system, you can twist and turn any statistic to your favour when you alter them to take out all the negative data. Study after study, stat after stat shows the US as the worst performing in the first world in almost every metric.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    June 19, 2014 11:15 p.m.

    Those socialistic countries who "support families: do so at a high price. France and Switzerland have high tax rates averaging around 56 percent. The Scandinavian countries are worse, going as high as 70 percent. The French actor Gerard Depardieu changed his citizenship because he was being taxed at 86%!

    Incidentally, French and German kids are tested around ages 12-14. Those who succeed can continue on to academically rigorous high schools. Their success there determines what universities they can attend. The others are shunted into vocational schools. That's why it's unfair to compare our school test results.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 19, 2014 5:57 p.m.

    @rvalens: I can't lecture you on tax policy and government function in 200 words. Instead, let me point out that just as Christians live under a New Covenant with the Lord, so do Americans live under a covenant relationship with our government, of, by, and for the people.

    My father benefited from the GI Bill and a VA mortgage. I benefited from a state scholarship to college. And I benefit in a host of other ways from being an American. In return, I've happily paid my taxes so that others may benefit and so our nation can stay strong. That's the covenant.

    The only "other people's money" involved here is when our elected leadership broke that covenant, granting huge tax breaks to the rich, a few crumbs to the middle class, spending too much on war, and leaving our treasury in tatters to run on borrowed financing. We can still fix that, and we should.

    No one is forcing you to be an American, to accept the benefits of being an American, or to pay taxes here. You could always move.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 19, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    @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.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 19, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    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".

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 19, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    @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.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 19, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    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.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 19, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    @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.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 19, 2014 12:35 p.m.


    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.

  • Brian Moody colorado springs, CO
    June 19, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    @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
    June 19, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 19, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    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.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 19, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    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.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 19, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    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.

  • coloradoblue Grand Junction, CO
    June 19, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    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!!!!

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    June 19, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    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

  • Elwood P. Suggins BEAVERTON, OR
    June 19, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    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!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    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.

  • XelaDave Salem, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    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

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    @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.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 19, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    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.

  • Enough is enough! Saint George, UT
    June 19, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    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.