Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

June 4, 2013

My Point Is...Reward those who try

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A forum held last week about the effects of drug-using pregnant women who bring drug-addicted babies into the world is just another example of some of the changes sorely needed in our current “assistance” system.

Those who try to achieve “the American Dream” are seemingly punished  with increasing taxes and shrinking pay checks while those with no ambition or drive receive multitudes of “free” services that are paid for by the honest, hard working population.

Services offered to the elderly should never be questioned, as those who are elderly, disabled, or prematurely unable to work have some substance to receive public funds. The elderly, especially those who were self-employed or worked at home to raise children and never held a public job, are stretched past the limit to survive in a world of constantly rising prices and fees on a basic Social Security check and diminishing benefits from Medicare. Those who have disabilities from long-term health issues or injuries also should be excepted from question for public assistance.

Those who have spent their lives living “in the fast lane” should not qualify for free government help. The partiers and promiscuous who have fallen victim to ‘disabilities’ through their own doing should not be rewarded through government programs for their life choices. Those who failed to complete their basic educational needs should not be considered disabled, but should be required to obtain skills to support themselves, rather than depend on the taxpayer base for their “free” services.

Every year the rise in drug-addicted babies affects thousands of children, families and caregivers across the country. Many of those children born with addictions have lifelong problems, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, respiratory problems, muscle and developmental issues. Many of those receive disability checks throughout their life for a condition brought on by the mother’s lack of concern for herself or her child. When our government gives money to the neglectful parent on behalf of the child’s disability, it sets the pace for yet another vicious cycle in which the guilty are rewarded, the innocent suffers, and the taxpayers pick up the tab.

With the forum concerning the rising rates of drug-addicted infants born each year, now is opportune time to revise the current system that rewards negligent and uncaring parents and places thousands of children into further poverty and distress.

Children who enter this world addicted to substances taken in by a pregnant mother should not have to endure further suffering. Nor should the parent profit from it. Instead, the funds for the child should be allocated — and monitored — to ensure that taxpayer money is used for the benefit of the child, rather than to continue to support a drug habit of the parent. At least a portion of that money to disadvantaged and/or disabled children should be held in a restricted account, available only to the child for college or vocational training once adulthood is reached, or for transportation to achieve that goal. Those children entering adulthood who cannot function independently should have their money channeled into a reputable agency or facility to ensure that proper care is continued throughout their lives.

Our country cannot continue to promote lack of ambition while putting the brunt of the burden on those citizens who strive to do better. If we are to return to the hard work ethic of our ancestors, it is only logical that we restructure our financial disbursements to assist those who help themselves and let those who expect a free ride to learn that nothing worthwhile is truly free.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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