Faith leaders weigh in on the fiscal cliff and programs for the poor

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  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    @Bill in Nebraska
    "He said he was a member [but] wouldn't furnish a date of birth."

    Why was his membership status relevant?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    Being poor is more a state of mind than a place. Yes, it is true that money buys lots of things and can. Some even say happiness but I know many rich people who are in my mind poor. How many of us are willing to give up all we have so someone else can have what we have? Not many for sure.

    The poor shall always be with us but some of them will say they are richer than some of the riches people in the world because they have each other, as in a family.

    Here is a story of a man that came to a Branch President asking for a $300 for a bus ticket. He said he was a member wouldn't furnish a date of birth. So the question was raised what to do. The Branch President called the Stake President. He was told to put the man to work on anything at the Church and then pay him handsomely. The Branch President gave him many odd jobs around the Church to do. Once finished he gave the man a check above what was asked. He also fed him and sent him on his way.

  • Bee Careful Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    Interesting how many people attacked "Liberal Ted" for his common-sense suggestions as to how to cut down on government provided assistance to the so-called "poor" people.

    Government provided welfare should be a last resort for those who cannot (not will not) do for themselves and would die without some assistance.

    Private organizations are ever-so-much more efficient at providing true charity, which is defined as voluntary monetary assistance given for the benefit of the less fortunate. Requiring non-voluntary contributions to the poor is not charity.... it is theft.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    @Liberal Ted
    "Get rid of the pet for a savings of $30/month. Turn down the heater during the winter and let the place be warmer in the summer for a $20-30 savings per month."

    I'm sorry but do you have any idea what it's like to live with lupus? Neither do I but for all you or I know it might be important physically for the living space to not be too hot in the summer or cold in the winter.

    "That's $150 in savings to us taxpayers."

    That's false. She'd still be getting the same amount in money even if she spent it in different ways.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 28, 2012 7:30 p.m.

    Re:Liberal Ted

    I would agree, $30 for "pet" expenses seems like a luxury, unless it is a service dog. I would argue cell phones can be a necessity for those who are disabled and living alone--to summon help if necessary in case of a fall etc. Cable/internet? What about those who are basically shut-ins, don't have family and have great difficulty getting out? It would be awfully hard to for me to tell people living under those circumstances they couldn't/shouldn't have one or the other.

    The food stamp and other programs are administered by the states, so there is some variability between the states. I know a disabled person here who gets around $900/mon from SSDI but doesn't qualify for food stamps. The problem is, if we use blunt instruments in an effort to curtail fraud, very likely children, disabled and the elderly willl be hurt.

    PBS has an interesting program, can be viewed via internet, "Poor Kids."

  • AmberDru Xenia, OH
    Dec. 28, 2012 6:58 p.m.

    There would be more money for those who need it if illegal aliens were booted from the country and made to go home. The majority of "immigrants" are on at least one type of government assistance. They don't make enough for their taxes to cover their costs (if they pay taxes at all). Why are we working with Mexico to produce Spanish language SNAP advertisements? Shouldn't Americans be first in line? TALLAHASSEE — Mentally ill patients are being placed on waiting lists for treatment because Florida's mental health institutions are crowded with illegal immigrants.
    The crisis puts Florida at the forefront of a national debate over whether illegal immigrants should enjoy the same rights to public health care as legal residents.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    Those anecdotes don't reflect the whole story.
    There's fraud as we found out in the food stamp program up in Ogden. Lazy government workers with padded pensions. Taking care of immigrants who have become a public charge. Giving billions in child credits to children who don't even live in the USA. People on disability simply because they can't find a job. People working for cash and collecting welfare at the same time.
    We have generations of able-bodied people who have learned how to milk the system.
    Let's not just ask the taxpayers to perpetuate the problem.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    @ Truthseeker

    Look at the graph. That is the budget. I'm not stating people don't need help. But, items can be cut down and cut back on. You can survive without cable.

    @ one old man

    Fair enough question. But it is possible to use vacation time and go the library where it is free.

  • TruthTalker Crystal River, FL
    Dec. 28, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    Our tax for the poor should be 10% every third year with distribution given that same year. This way the poor are not stuck relying on the handout, but rather the handout becomes a help up out of their impoverished situation.

    When the government takes too much from us by way of taxes and wastes it on ineffective programs, then there is not enough money for us to give to charities and directly to those in need.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    So what is the LDS church stance?

    They often partner with other denominations to combat things such as same-sex marriage. What is the church's stance on poverty? do they see poverty as a moral issue? does the church oppose govt. programs to aid the elderly, disabled, and poor? Does the LDS church in the U.S. primarily provide assistance to LDS members? Do they participate in community assistance programs or help those outside the LDS community, aside from disasters?

    re:Liberal Ted
    I didn't see in the article where it said the woman had cable/internet, a pet or even A/C. Btw, A/C can be necessary to preserve life and maintain health for some medical conditions. Kudos for you to have survived without govt. assistance. We can agree that we should consistently work to reduce fraud.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    Meanwhile, Liberal Ted says he doesn't have the internet at home.

    So that must mean he's mooching his employers time to be posting while at work.

    Is that another form of "entitlement?" Is it honest?

    Just asking.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Does it make someone more pious or moral to advocate for protecting the poor when in essence they are arguing that other people be separated from the fruits of their labor under force of law? It strikes me as extremely immoral. Government is just one pillar of our society. And I know that most churches do a lot to help the impoverished. Sometimes to me it seems as they tend to be more interested in poor people in other countries than in our own (but hey, that's what the US Government is for apparently)

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    I just think it's interesting how many people of govt. assistance have tatoos... arent' those things pretty expensive?

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    There are many truly needy people.

    But we are broke, out of money, irretrievably deep in debt, and borrowing 46 cents of every dollar we spend. This simply cannot continue.

    Ironically, the Obama solution is to take more from the hard working Americans, those who typically are the biggest givers to charitable causes, and talk about eliminating those contributions as charitable deductions, so the "evil rich" will not be able to help those in need as much as they have.

    We must cut back spending, including reducing the terribly abused "disability" giveaways, raise the age for MEDICARE, raise the age for Social Security, and eliminate all the "nice to have" stuff we spend money on.

    And, the needy will need to depend more on private help from individuals and the faith community, and to police the ranks of recipients to screen out the marginally needy and help them become self sufficient, not comfortably living on the liberal welfare plantation.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    Another idea would be to kick off all of the welfare fraud and abusers from the system. Use that cost savings to actually help people that are in need.

    If you are physically, mentally and capabable of having a job then that's what you should be doing each day. Going to work.

    I know one welfare fraud case after another. Generally generational welfare users, where they are capable and able. But, why work full time? When you can work a part time job here and there. Go on government welfare, live off of the kindness of neighbors, family, friends and charity organizations. Why work 40 hour weeks that might be inconvenient and miss out on Oprah or other shows that tell you, that you are entitled to sit there. And anyone that says you should work, is a bigot, unkind, insincere and just don't understand your situation.

    As a person with a chronic disease, I work full time. Worked 2-3 jobs and time. I have gone without. I have been down to nothing in the bank and close to being evicted. I know how it feels. But, I didn't go on welfare. I found a job and worked.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2012 6:50 a.m.

    I can help her with her budget. You can get a land line for $10-15/month (you don't have to have the internet and cable in your home) for a realized savings of $85-90/month. Get rid of the pet for a savings of $30/month. Turn down the heater during the winter and let the place be warmer in the summer for a $20-30 savings per month.

    That is not a horrible request or expectation. I don't use my A/C except on days where it goes over 100 degrees. I don't have cable or the internet at home. I don't have a pet. That's $150 in savings to us taxpayers. The poor are still being helped. If she needs entertainment then you can get a book from the library for free, if you return it on time.

    Out of the 8-10 million on government welfare. If we saved $150/welfare user, that could be $150,000,000 in savings each year. You can also get a public transportation monthly pass for around $50. That's another $50 in savings. Bringing the total to $200 Million.

    Compassionate and reasonable.