I am tired of paying for others to have a place to live
Recently, there was a news story about a robbery in Selma. On May 4th, I saw that an arrest was made in a break-in case at a Selma Housing Authority apartment. The break-in was committed by another resident of the apartment complex, just a few doors down. This is not the thing that amazes me. What does amaze me, however, is that the thief stole over $4800 in jewelry, electronics, and clothes. I got to thinking about just how much stuff that is. Nearly five grand can buy a heap big amount of bling, Circuit City merchandise, and a few trips to The Gap.
My question is first and foremost, what is someone who can afford stuff worth stealing and worth almost five thousand dollars doing in government subsidized housing? Why are we as tax payers shelling out money to pay for cheap housing for someone who can afford to buy lifestyle items? Sure, everyone needs clothes. But if I am having to live at taxpayer expense, I had better be buying my clothes at Cheap Thrills thrift store in uptown Selma rather than at any new store. I had better not have several televisions, a stereo, video game system, cell phone, VCR, DVD player, all the latest movies, and spend money on such if I am willing to suckle off the government in order to have a place to live.
There should be constant means testing for any government assistance. Someone being handicapped and unable to work is one thing. If someone is able to work and does not, that is something else. If this crime victim is working and underemployed, then that is hardly the fault of the taxpayers of this town, county, state, or nation. Therefore, if he or she can afford to spend money on such items while living in housing that we are subsidizing or owned such items before getting into such housing, then there is something wrong with the system.
I was standing in line at a grocery store not long ago. Ahead of me was a woman checking out, paying with WIC (the Women, Infant, and Children government program) vouchers. She was dressed in a business suit. She had a cell phone with Bluetooth wireless headset. She also had just purchased one of the best toasters and cookware sets in the Wal-Mart store. They were already in her basket, paid for. Then she bought the most expensive juices in the store and baby formula with WIC vouchers. I get real tired of paying for others to eat. Sure, I can afford all that I have, and have money to spare. I was buying some stuff I wanted rather than needed, in addition to some stuff I had need of, and I can afford to do so. That is my prerogative. What irritates me is that someone who had on nice clothes, nice jewelry, bought better kitchen appliances than I own, and can afford a cell phone plan with wireless headset is suckling off the government at the expense of the taxpayers. Multiply this by millions of sucklers and we as a nation are being milked for money to pay for the lifestyle choices of others.
Recently in this very column, I dealt with the voting record of Congressman Bob Etheridge. I just read that he has voted in support of "The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevent Act of 2008". This bill is designed to help prop up home values and keep foreclosures from happening. Basically, those who bought more house than they could afford or were stupid enough to get and keep an adjustable rate mortgage are in danger of losing their homes. Of course some well meaning, pandering liberals want the government to illegally step in and take up the slack at the expense of the general population. People are indeed losing their homes because of economic conditions and their own bad choices in life. However, it is hardly the responsibility of the populace to bail someone out of their problems.
Why should those who can not afford to pay a regular, private mortgage company be given the opportunity to refinance with a government backed loan, instead? Why should a governmental bureaucracy be allowed to bail out those who can not afford to pay a loan with yet another loan at tax payer risk and expense? If people can not afford their homes, then they need to find other homes that they can afford, even if that means renting an apartment or other meager accommodations. I have been there and lived that myself. When I could not afford to either purchase a house or continue paying the high Raleigh rent rates, I rented a broken down, old trailer in the country here in Johnston County for over five years until I could afford to buy.
I have worked hard to afford the things I have now and I am sure that most of you readers have, as well. I have been dirt poor, earning below the poverty level for years. I have had economic hardships in my lifetime, but refused to look to the government for help. Rather, I worked harder to get out of poverty and live comfortably. I wish that more people in this nation had the same resolve and that law makers would require it of those who are allegedly in need before they gladly fork over our tax dollars under the guise of compassion when they are actually enabling the behavior at our expense.