Just the other day I had a heated discussion with a friend of mine about the welfare system in our country; in particular, Obama’s recent extension of unemployment benefits. With all new these expansions people are able to collect more money, for a longer period of time, while those of us who are employed are getting paid less in order to compensate. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that some period of unemployment and welfare can be beneficial to the public, however my issue with the system lies in the degree to which people have taken advantage of the resources available, and the fact that I’m paying for it!

This is the way I see it…In 2010 in the Buffalo area, statistics show nearly 8 out of every 100 people were unemployed, and this is where it begins. Now remember this 8% of the population doesn’t have a job so that makes buying food an issue, so they may become reliant on food stamps, and heating your home isn’t cheap so they may need heating assistance, and what if some of this 8% has children, they’re going to need health insurance, so the government will provide them with Medicaid.

Now, the burden is not only coming up with ways to provide unemployment revenue, the government needs money to run an entire series of welfare programs; and where is that money coming from? Not the companies that have laid the employees off, or some government fund, its coming directly out of the paychecks of people that are employed.

Again I will say that I believe some welfare and unemployment can be beneficial. I can understand that in today’s economy honest, hard working people do struggle, but I also know that people have accepted these government systems as a charity, and take an attitude of entitlement, thus abusing the intent of these programs. Take for example; a person can collect unemployment in many cases for up to 99 weeks…99 weeks is close to two years…Your trying to tell me that someone needs two years to find a job? When you are unemployed, you have a pretty free schedule, and the majority of your time should be devoted to job hunting. I do not buy that it honestly takes 99 weeks to establish employment. If I ran unemployment people would begin on a 6 month trial period. I would allow this period for people to find something, even if it’s a part time job at a drug store, they have to work somewhere...

Putting into consideration that often you can not provide for a family on part time wages, if the applicant was working the government would still compensate a smaller portion of money to make their income livable for a term of 99 weeks. If the applicant refused to find some sort of employment in those 6 months they would be denied government assistance until they could do so. In my opinion this would quickly cut down the amount of money in unemployment, and in order to decrease laziness in applicants that sense of urgency needs to be more starkly delivered. I don’t know about you, but I personally would feel better if I knew my tax dollars were at least going to someone who was trying.

While I would not want people to settle for mediocre jobs, you are an adult and you must provide for yourself. Just because someone is forced to work a job they might not prefer, you are not stuck in the job forever. However for the time being, you need money, and not working, should not be an option. What I think our government needs is more accountability, people need to be held accountable for themselves and stop relying on government assistance to get by. These programs were put in effect not as long running efforts, they were meant to help people get back on their feet, not hold them there forever. If the government continues to increase the available funds in welfare and unemployment programs, I fear people will continue that sense of entitlement and ultimately continue to waste our money. We need to raise the standards we set for Americans and encourage citizens to get out and make it for themselves, not accentuate welfare, and encourage the idea of government reliance. Where would you rather see your tax dollars go, continuously invested in welfare programs, or invested in business ventures to formulate new jobs?