Friday, April 23, 2010

My Reasons...

I only open my mouth to change feet as the saying goes. As far as my viewpoints go, I'm what you would call a Christian fundamentalist and fiscal conservative when it comes to government. The former being by the grace of God and the latter coming from the University of Hard Knocks. As anyone who's ever read my Facebook posts, or suffered through this blog knows, my key points is the national debt, as well as funding for baby killing, national health insurance and any other action that's causing us to collectively stumble. I frequently post links to news articles and while I have a conservative slant, it is out of common sense. Don't spend more than you take in, if at all possible.

Admittedly, this leaves out a lot of other factors, including, but not limited to, human beings and all of the problems they (read we or us) face as individuals and their families. My breaking point came with a young lady who's name I will not mention on this blog. It happened while I was pointing out the absurdity of the government buying cell phones for poor people (a viewpoint I will not back down from, by the way). However, there is still more than dollars and sense to this issue. There is a human side to all of this that I am poorly equipped to explain further. So without further adieu, I give you this young lady's argument, verbatim, give my take on it, and leave it at that.

"Walter, my mother is going to be using this service, as she can no longer afford her own phone. She is a disabled person with cancer and mental illness who receives SSI benefits from the government. The total amount of her benefit is about $800/month. She lives in a group home. After she pays for her food and lodging, the remainder of her discretionary cash is $44/month. Out of this she needs to make all of her prescription copayments, purchase all of her clothing and personal hygeine items, buy her non-prescription medications, and pay for any minor purchases she might want. Her medicines use up all of her $44 and more, leaving nothing left. She does have access to the house phone at the group home, but it is not the same as having a cell phone for her own personal use. With a cell phone, she is able to go out and take walks or go shopping at nearby stores without worrying everyone having to worry about her being lost or falling down. She is simply too ill and too fragile to be on her own without some method of communication. It is also a lifeline to her out of town family who don't see her very often.

Walter, before you criticize this program, I would like to see how you stretch $44/month to cover all of your non-housing, non-food needs for a month. The truth is that the assistance provided to the poor by the government is just not enough. If not for government entitlements plus numerous charity programs PLUS steady support (financial and emotional) from a large family, my mother would be dead. The numerous people you see sleeping on the street in the winter is proof that we are not doing enough.

One last comment is that you may not be aware that pay phones are no longer widely available. If you've ever stopped to try to use one, you'll find that most of them don't work. The phone companies are not replacing them as they break, so a cell phone truly is becoming a necessity, especially for people who are living or on the road alone, especially for the elderly and disabled."

I'll address these concerns she posed in this blog because I'm assuming she has a Blogger account. First of all, I'm sorry for blocking her. I cannot take responsibility for her actions, but I should take responsibility for mine. First up, no one has ever stepped in your shoes, I don't care how empathetic you say you are. This is just a fact of life and not an affront to anyone. One thing that's getting more and more common in the United States and abroad is suffering of every kind, despite the governments' best efforts to stem the tide. The fact is that I know all about payphones over the past ten years. They are an endangered species. I also know what it's like to need help from the government as I'm drawing unemployment.

The danger in this is that government was never meant to take care of us per se. We are given the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit (cultivation) of happiness. It is the contemporary interpretation that adds the safety net that so many of us use. Right now, my greatest concern is going to be when my unemployment benefits run out. Then what, move back with my parents? I have a wife and two young children. There is no way we can meet our obligations long term without a good-paying full time job. We have cut back and cut back some more. I had to sell my house in 2000 and have not been able to get another one since. Lansing's job market is the most horrible I've seen. We all have our problems, this is also a fact of life. I don't want any body's pity. Prayers yes, pity no.

The root of the problem is that we've spent our way well past the point of no return. We all voted our pocketbooks to feather our own nests. We bought houses, cars, boats, plasma TVs and went on an insane spending spree for the last 20 years, and we got the banks to finance our dreams. Even though we lost jobs and industry, as long as the credit flowed, it didn't matter. The government, elected by us, continued to spend with no thought to tomorrow and has for the past 40 plus years. What you used to buy for a quarter now costs three bucks. This is why costs keep going up, but your salary hasn't in nearly a decade. Soon, all of us will have to work all day just to keep ONE PERSON fed. (See Revelation 6:5-8)

This isn't one person suffering, or a few, or even hundreds of thousands, but BILLIONS. Try worrying about health care or a phone when you're struggling to find enough to eat. You won't last long enough to worry about it if this happens. This IS reality right now in Africa, Haiti, North Korea and many other parts of the world. This is coming to America and Europe very soon. My suggestion is to fall on your face and stop worrying about ideology, or pride, or health care and get right with Jesus and turn your life over to him. He is your only hope, not government. Pray for healing and revival in this land and that He allows for more of us to escape what's coming. Lord I pray that you just guard us all and that we learn that Your ways are not our ways. You and You alone are the Prince of Peace, Amen!

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