Letter: We need dialogue, not generalizations

Jan. 29, 2013 @ 03:09 PM

To the Editor:

Your editorial stated “When work is available but benefits from the government are the same or better, the ‘free ride’ is a very popular choice. We don’t know about ’47 percent,’ but we do know Obama has responsibility for many people depending on the government.”

It is important that you know about the 47 percent. It includes elderly and disabled adults receiving Social Security and Medicare, military families serving overseas, large numbers of children who receive food assistance because their working parents do not earn a living wage, veterans, some of the wealthiest among us who pay no taxes, and yes, some number of “real takers,” able-bodied adults who misrepresent their income in order to qualify for benefits. The “takers” do a disservice to themselves and to those truly needing help. The “takers” make it harder for those needing help and for those trying to help them.

We need an honest, well-informed dialogue about the legitimate needs of families in Vance County and elsewhere, about the disproportionate number of children living in poverty, about joblessness and about the legitimate role of government and its limitations.

I believe your editorial will not generate positive discussion or positive actions. Your generalizations insult individuals and families who are trying their very best to make it during these difficult times. You cite the president as responsible for many more people depending on government. Is that the result of new programs by the president or the increase in the numbers of people without jobs who are accessing programs already in existence? Please identify the specific programs initiated by our president that provides a disincentive to work.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.

Bill Scarlett

Manson