Saturday, September 17, 2005

Fiscal Responsibility

There have been reports that some of the $2,000.00 debit cards that FEMA handed out to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina have been used to buy designer clothes, Louie Viutton handbags, and even spent at some Houston strip clubs.

So some of the survivors are irresponsible with money. Who knew?

I can identify with that. I am irresponsible with money. Not as much as I used to be, but I still make stupid decisions on how to spend my money at times. I think of all the ways I can waste money if I were to win a lottery or something and the possibilities are endless. And, interestingly enough, I always consider those plans first. I would like to think I am a good steward of the gifts God gives me but I think He knows me better than I know myself, and that is probably why I never win a lottery.

Fiscal irresponsibility is one reason why some of them are poor in the first place. Not all, but some.

This news makes the point to us that government welfare programs do not work. You can give and give and give, and some people will take and take and take.

And remain poor.

Now, if the government (that means you and I) wants to institute programs that make some effort to teach fiscal responsibility along with the welfare checks, or hold the recipients accountable for what they do with the money, that is something I can get behind. How they can do that without going overboard in the typical governmental method of overkill, is quite another problem.

I think this idea bears further study.


mlwhitt said...

Giving them debit cards without stipulations wasn't a bright idea. Should have been voluchers.

MadMustard said...

Mark, you bring up a great topic about fiscal responsibility as it relates to the survivors of hurricane Katrina. I detest wasteful government spending, and more importantly, the unwise purchases that some beneficiaries may make at the expense of the legitimate needs of families. We should expect that those families with children will act responsibly to make the correct decisions.

Our government has misspent so much money due to inept decision making that it makes me sick. There is certainly no justification to misappropriate or overlook more waste and fraud. I share your concern about providing the money to those who really do desperately need it, and yet, how much bloated bureaucracy is necessary to assure that it is properly distributed and at what cost?

The dilemma reminds me of my own experiences in 1981. I was newly divorced providing child support for my 4 year-old daughter. I let my wife have the house for the sake of our child and was barely scraping by with my support payments. I became very bitter and calculating of where my money was going. Did my daughter get the benefit of every penny? It made me resentful if they made a weekend trip as I could only afford to work or spend time in my crappy apartment with its matching rented furnishings.

My sister is the one who calmed my anger by reminding me that life isn’t always fair but a loving father must always do what is right. She told me to not allow my suspicions to blind me of my obligations. I never short-changed my daughter and that gives me great satisfaction.

So, I guess the taxpayer must sometimes take on the role of a loving father. We should be watchful not to allow our suspicions of some acting unfairly, to become an excuse for not doing what is right for those who do deserve to be treated fairly. Someday, maybe all of us will be able to take some satisfaction for that shared sacrifice.

Mark I must tell you honestly, if it where simply a question of either/or, I would rather see even misspent money dropped into our economy as opposed to that which is misspent flowing into foreign ones.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hey Mark. If you get a chance, check out Angry Republican Mom's repost on welfare.