If I Were In Charge of Welfare

On November 18, 2010, the Waco Tribune-Herald (WTH) published a letter to the editor by Alfred W. Evans of Gatesville. Since its publication, the letter has gone viral.
But blogs that republished Mr. Evans’ letter do not give the URL or a link. To ensure the letter’s authenticity, I went searching on the newspaper’s website. I can confirm that the letter is authentic. See this search page, showing “Put me in charge of welfare” as among the letters to the editor on November 18, 2010. See also this search page, showing guest columnist David Price snarkily rebutting Evans’ letter. (To assess the letter on WTH’s website, you must be a paid subscriber or, minimally, pay $1.99 for a one-day pass.)

Waco Tribune-Herald, Nov. 18, 2010
Put me in charge

Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get tats and piercings, then get a job.
Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your “home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.
In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a “government” job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the “common good.”
Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules.. Before you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,” consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
AND while you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.
Alfred W. Evans
Gatesville, TX
For more on welfare abuse, see my posts “Average ‘Poor’ American Has Cable TV, AC, and Car,” “California’s Welfare Vacations,” and “Food Stamps Used to Buy Lobsters and Steaks.”
H/t my dear friend Bill O.
~Eowyn

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Damn straight! (Gosh, demand people on assistance grow up and be responsible… horrors, there go all the Demo-rats voters social programs generate!)

Judy
Guest

I vote for Evans!

yukidongo
Guest

I am a nurse. I work in the “projects” three nights a week with a sick infant. The “baby daddy” has three other children, not of the home, and not all in the same home away from it. He is 24, and drawing disability. They are not married. And she is getting the best our social services offer. I started with them in one apartment. They destroyed the carpet, and it smelled so bad it irritated my recently diagnosed asthma. They were then moved to another apartment complex a few miles away. They trashed that one, too. Now, because of… Read more »

Ken
Guest
Ken

You had me up to the voting rights.
Since the dissolution of the draft, many people have enlisted–especially during time of war–to escape the poverty in which their family lives. If you’re suggesting that their families either not be able to vote or not be able to eat, you’ve lost me.

Lord Foggybottom (@lordfoggybottom)
Guest

If they’ve enlisted, then they have a job and are contributing to their country, moron.

DCG
Guest

I think drug testing should be mandatory w/those getting assistance.
Along with having a job, I also have thought about being a property and/or business owner as a requirement for voting. Not sold on that idea but have wondered about it…

K. aka Kel
Guest
K. aka Kel

Work-fare should be mandatory and debit cards (not cheques) should be issued with monitoring chips to ensure they’re being used to buy food (taxed items like Ding-dongs, liquor, cigarettes, and other “sundry items” would be flagged at the check-out as inadmissible purchase items).

Bryan Portinari
Guest

While I agree that the welfare system needs to be updated, I have to say that you all don’t really know what you’re talking about. People who grow up poor do not have the skills necessary to balance their financial lives. Education is greatly needed!!! With the minimum wage so low, how can a family afford to live on even 2 salaries without help. The woman who brought home $3900 AFTER taxes? Really? If you can’t afford your bills, start putting money in a savings account or REDUCE your debt! There are families that work full time that bring that… Read more »

Gary Scourtas
Guest
Gary Scourtas

Thanks you Bryan Portinari for putting a few rational comments into this debate.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Brian, she did not say she made 3900.00 monthly. She said she pays approx. 15000.00 in taxes a year and only recieves approx 3900.00 back as a refund. (what she over pays through the year) In the mean time the goverment uses her money to support people that abuse the system that are just as capable of working as she is. Frustrating…. Also, you can’t put money in savings when you don’t have enough to pay for your monthly expenses. However she could maybe, reduce her dept. Maybe not? I don’t know her situation.

Jose
Guest
Jose

You can only vote if you have a job? I kind of agreed with you until then. There’s nothing about being an American that says you have to have a job to vote. That’s just ridiculous.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

I think the point of having a job to vote is maybe better stated as a pay to play system where if you are a taxpayer then you should have a say. If not, then become one. Of course what about retirees and stay at home moms? Really a complex issue. But it is a good point that a welfare recipient voting is as much a conflict of interest as congress voting on their own pay raises. Problems abound!

Tacitus
Guest
Tacitus

The main justification for the Revolutionary War was “Taxation without representation”. What about representation without taxation? I’m not too comfortable with the idea of taking away someone right to vote, but the fact is that if you own property or have a job, *you* will pay taxes and fund what *other people* vote for. Net receivers (who are closing in on majority status in the U.S.) have an incentive to vote themselves more goodies (e.g. Obamaphone!) from a paternalistic government and no reason whatsoever to worry about who’s actually paying the bill (i.e. future generations, the Chinese, the Tooth Fairy).… Read more »

Mandy_Martin (@PhoenixPyra)
Guest

Actually, when the country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. While I do believe voting should not be restricted to only men or whites, I do not have a problem restricting it to property owners and those who pay taxes.

Lord Foggybottom (@lordfoggybottom)
Guest

He said you can’t vote if you’re sucking off of your fellow citizens. Where does it say in the Constitution that the government can steal from me and give it to somebody else? It doesn’t, which mean MY rights are now being trampled.

Stan
Guest
Stan

He didn’t say you had to have a job to vote, he said if you were on government assistence then it is a conflict of interest and therefore you wouldn’t be allowed to vote.

Bill X
Guest
Bill X

Evans does not understand how public assistance programs work. SNAP does restrict what foods one can buy. It is the liberals who have been pushing for free access to birth control and most forms of birth control are covered under Medicaid. Work requirements already exist. And denying people on pubic aid the right vote is unconstitutional and about as un-American as you can get. Abuses of public aid systems certainly exist but this is hardly a reason to suspend democracy. Bank fraud exists but no one is arguing we should deny bankers the right to vote. Furthermore, unemployment is a… Read more »

cmblake6
Guest

I see a few trolls here. This is pure unadulterated common sense, what is so hard to understand about it? The post said that there would be subsistence provided, and there would be responsibility required. Not “if you don’t work, starve”. And not voting if you are on welfare makes sense, because you are going to vote for anything extra you can get for yourself.
This is a bit more “compassionate” than my position. If they can’t work, help them. If they won’t work, f&ck them.

CharlesK
Guest
CharlesK

Sept 27, 2012 A long time ago, there was an earnest plea from a “FAMILY with Lymes Disease.” Most of the material contained in the family’s blog appealing for help is contained in the “Put me in charge” e-mails. As the multitude of comments about this e-mail attest, this 21 year old female either “has a great plan!” or has been bashed around for that plan and it’s solutions. This lady’s opinion ONLY agrees with a newspaper article in the Waco Tribune-Herald. The author of this opinion letter, not a real plan with real solutions, has already identified himself as… Read more »

c. kochenderfer
Guest
c. kochenderfer

Great run for office the country needs you ! You said what we all feel thank-you

I'm a hopeless dumbmass
Guest
I'm a hopeless dumbmass

***Comment obliterated by Dave***
It should be impacting the surface of the Sun at any minute.
That sort of overt racism doesn’t fly here.
Clean it up or slink.
-Dave

DCG
Admin

Our government is what is wrong with this country. They allow this program to be manipulated and actually encourage people to sign up for all kinds of entitlements.

Dave
Editor
Dave

Doc E and DCG,
I blew this clown’s comment into oblivion, as his SN was bad enough, then it went straight downhill from there.
Even I have my limits.
-Dave

pnordman
Guest

This reminds me of the time I was waiting in line to pay for my hot dogs and cheap chips for my little boys. The gal in front of me, fattened up on lotsa good food, started piling her goodies on the counter – steak, the best stuff. I’m feeling a bit envious because she certainly didn’t look like she could afford it. Well, out come the food stamps. I had to pray for a forgiving heart at that moment!

TrailDust
Admin
TrailDust

I came late to this party. What a good post!

James R. Halifax
Guest
James R. Halifax

I know a woman who’s been a social worker for 15 years in Nova Scotia. One of her “clients” is 30 years old and has 7 kids, by about 5 different men. She spends her money on her nails and her hair extensions. She only has 5 of her kids with her, as her welfare is topped out at enough for 5 kids. She pawned the two oldest ones off to someone else as they were no longer “earning” her any money.
If there was ever a case for norplant or sterilization…this woman fits the bill.

Ratt
Guest
Ratt

You Liberals never get it do you ? I have no problem helping folks out, but 99 weeks on Un-employment with extensions, 12 Million on Disability, 52 Million on Food Stamps ? Uhh, that’s vote buying Dudes. And, hell no they should not be able to vote, it is a conflict of interest because it creates a financial burden on the American Tax-payer when these Welfare Bums realize they can just vote themselves more Welfare.

Lisa Branigan
Guest
Lisa Branigan

Charity would be great! Let charities administer, they usually ask for the recipient to pay it forward…in whatever way possible. All for charity. Totally against gov’t redistribution/handouts! Please notice the difference before posting!

bamafan1973
Guest

One issue omitted from the article: mandatory drug tests for: alcohol, tobacco products, and drugs. If you are caught using any of these products, then get out of the government housing and get a job!!!