I've recently seen this "article" titled "New American way of life" all over my Facebook feed. It's credited to John Tabb and has been printed in the Miller County Liberal of to Colquitt, Georgia, on August 19, 2015. Supposedly, the article exists in an earlier form credited to John Rightmire. Whoever wrote it, it's a delicious piece of conservative-whacking welfare trolling that offers a very far fetched approach to gaming the system. There are so many blatant falsehoods in this New American Way Of Life that I had to counter the points.
First off, the waiting list for Section 8 housing, even to get a voucher to play the system like points 1-5 is suggesting, is incredibly long. You'd have to wait years for that to kick in.
6: The Affordable Care Act does provide subsidies for lower income families, but only provides "Free" healthcare to incredibly low incomes. Even then, those on the plan still have to pay out for co-pays, hospital visits, etc etc. The girlfriend in question could possibly get the kids on a state Medicaid program, but, once that's done, the state will look to the father to see if he is getting insurance through his employer and would then force him to cover the kids through his plan, thus screwing up the plan for the father is this hypothetical scenario.
7. If there were a way for a single parent to go to college for free, I'd have had my PhD by now. There simply aren't any state or federal programs that do that. The best one could do is qualify for a Pell Grant, but such grants are not dependent on one's parental status. And, if we're to assume that the girlfriend in question is a stay-at-home mom, then how is she going to have the time to go to class?
8. A family of three (girlfriend + 2 kids) would qualify for a MAXIMUM of $486 in SNAP benefits. This assumes zero income, as Mr Tabb states that the girlfriend in this hypothetical scenario is a stay at home mom. In most cases, if a single mother applies for SNAP benefits, the state will go after the father for child support payments to the mother in order to reduce/eliminate her monthly benefit. So, the father in this hypothetical piece would be screwed.
9. So-called "Obama Phones" existed before Obama was ever in office. It's called The Lifeline Program and it only offers discounts, not free phones. Some cellular providers do provide free cell phone programs, but they do so on their own dime.
10. Utility programs like that are offered at the State level, but they are usually via subsidies and are only free in emergency situations
11. That's actually illegal and would be considered fraud.
12. It doesn't work that way. If each parent is claiming one of the two children as a dependent, than the mother can’t be legally collecting benefits (such as SNAP) for both children.
13. Disability claims have to be well documented by medical professionals and securing benefits is not an easy task. Often, one has to go to court in order to claim disability. And if the girlfriend in question wasn't working to begin with (via the earlier points) she wouldn't get much out of the system because she hadn't earned enough work credits to begin with. I know a lady who has been trying to get disability for years. If she's not actually disabled, she's putting on a great act and has me and her family and friends fooled. She has been shut down in hearings at least twice and has resulted in absolute zero disability payout. It's not nearly as easy as walking into an office and saying "I'm crazy!" or "My back hurts and I can't work!".
The author of this New American Way of Life sums up his OP ED piece by placing the blame for the budget deficit on the shoulders of the social welfare system. One can debate the costs and benefits of social programs, but, instead of talking about people taking advantage of the system, perhaps we should be more concerned about the system taking advantage of the people. Wall Street gets trillions of dollars in tax incentives from the government while maximizing shareholder and minimizing employee compensation. The social benefits that are handed out are just scraps compared to this.