Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The taxpayers aching back

I watched a recent interview on one of my local news channels the other night concerning those who rely on food kitchens and pantries for their meals. They interviewed a director of a food bank. While I applaud them for their charity work for it is a job most are not interested in performing, I take issue with one of the director's statements.

It is indeed a hard time for those who try to feed the homeless, cloth the needy and give any and all services to the poor. In this economic climate more and more of us are simply looking out for ourselves as funding from government levels are beginning to dry up. Many of these groups also rely on grocery companies for donations. These donations are down as well. She made a statement saying the government should not balance their budgets on the backs of the hungry. (That is not a direct quote however it conveys the correct message). I understand completely that all groups that rely on government funding must convey a message that their cause will be devastated if funding dries up. Government should cut elsewhere and save their cause. She is in essence a lobbyist for her cause but her logic is flawed.

The poor, the needy, the hungry all suffer effects of budget cuts but so does everyone else. It is the taxpayer that must shoulder the burden and thus bear the brunt of funding cuts. Those who only consume the resources of government spending and do not contribute shoulder none of the burden. As a taxpayer I don't expect much from local government other than to keep the infrastructure reasonably reliable and safe, establish law and order and fire protection. At the moment, newspapers are rife with stories about the coming of tax hikes and finding new sources of income, ie, new taxes. Guess who will be paying for these taxes. It won't be the poor and the hungry, it will be the rest of us who are all worried about keeping our own jobs.

There are those who must rely on government as their sole source of support. Those who are disabled or the mentally ill should never suffer for a lack of funding. I would even throw senior citizens into that group as they have no other means of supplementing their incomes in many situations. A ninety-year old does not have reasonable expectation of gainful employment. Other than that, most should learn to rely on themselves and not government handouts on a life-long basis.

I wish charity workers well in their profession but it is time they learn to help those who truly need help and not those who only want their help. The difference between those groups is cavernous.

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