When I earned my Bachelor of Social Work degree, I was taught that there are two types of welfare in our country. One of them is stigmatized, and the other is not.

We are all familiar with the stereotypical unemployed single parent with children he/she is unable to support. We stigmatize that type of welfare as being undeserved. Yet, in our society, there are government handouts that go to the middle, and upper classes.

For example, the popular Earned Income Credit is a subsidy to help middle class families afford to raise their children, yet that handout is not stigmatized in the same way as what we traditionally think of as welfare. It is an accepted bonus after a year of hard work. The higher a person's income, the more deductions from taxes and other subsidies are available to him/her.

Yet, once again, these handouts are not stigmatized. They are thought of as a deserved reward for being successful in life.

In a time when we are at the brink of partial default of the government, higher interest rates for every American, stock market collapse and the loss of our country's standing in the world, surely it is obvious that every sort of government welfare, whether stigmatized or not, needs to be on the chopping block. We simply cannot afford to support the lifestyle of one segment of the population when we are all at risk.

Lisa Bates