Monday, December 12, 2005

Two Welfare Systems

Public assistance is supposedly for those most in need. There are income eligibility requirements. If an individual's or family's income increases to a certain point, they become ineligible...unless we're talking about CORPORATE welfare. Under the latter system, there don't seem to be any income eligibility requirements at all!

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists,
"In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, the Bush administration and Congress are struggling to pay for the needed but costly rebuilding efforts along America's Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil recently announced a record breaking $9.9 billion in quarterly profits. Despite that success, Congress recently gave the oil and gas industry, including ExxonMobil, $10.7 billion in tax breaks."
In light of all the changes to the way this nation administer's public welfare assistance, this payout seems grossly unfair. Would anyone like to justify it?


  1. A tax break is not a payout, yet I do believe there are unjust price fixing with all energy companies. Usually local governments provide tax incentives to companies to locate within their local domain knowing that any tax breaks are usually offset by growth in individual revenue and supporting business growth. I'm not sure about providing such breaks on the federal level.

    The federal government has provided way too much handouts for hurricane "relief". As you have noticed the local and federal governments were blamed for most everything - it's always someone else's fault (the common liberal view). I am against our taxes going to pay for houses of those that were too cheap to buy insurance for their homes, and for paying for anything that goes toward an illegal alien in that region or any region.

  2. Justadog writes, "A tax break is not a payout"

    My response: It depends on how one looks at things. If a group of 10 of us has $10 a piece and our government informs us that $5 of those $10 will be collected for taxes, how will you and the other 8 folks feel when the government tells me I can keep my entire $10 due to a tax break? While it's true the government isn't giving me anything (unless, of course, we can consider good roads, fire protection, a police presence and general public services as something given), I'm getting to retain $5 the rest of you aren't.

    Since public services benefit me as much as the rest of you, I'm being given these services without having to pay for them. I'd call that a payout.

  3. Whether you regard a tax cut as a payout or not (which I do in many circumstances) it's still important to justify the reason for a tax cut in the first place. A tax cut intended to aid local business on the local level, is quite different from a tax cut intended to benefit giant oil and gas companies that are already enjoying record revenues. That speaks merely of members of Congress beholden to corporate interests. What other motivation could there be?

  4. quoting justadog: "those that were too cheap to buy insurance for their homes"

    I sat here and went ::boggle:: for a while at that one, frankly. Too cheap? I'm wondering, are you familiar with how flood insurance works? It is, in a word, one of the bass-ackwards systems imaginable.

    1. It doesn't come with regular homeowners' insurance, even in places where it makes perfect sense for it to do so.

    2. Where it's a good idea to have, it's hideously expensive.

    3. Where it's a really good idea to have, you often can't get it.

    I lived for over 20 years in a part of Louisiana where flood insurance falls under the "pretty good idea to have" category. I'm glad I was at an age where it was my parents' problem to cough up for and not mine, frankly. Even for middle-class folks, 5K a year is nothing to sneeze at (I can only imagine what it is now; that was 10 years ago).

    Many of the people who lost their homes to the flood waters in New Orleans and Mississippi weren't anywhere near middle class - and their flood insurance would have been vastly more expensive than ours...always assuming they weren't considered too high-risk to get it to start with.

    I'm sure some number of people looked at the insurance and said "oh screw it" - that always happens. But I'd lay down cash that says far, far more of them simply couldn't pay for it, or weren't eligible even if they could.


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