Entitlements – Welfare and Unemployment

Entitlements – Welfare and Unemployment;

We have a significant, current and growing problem with both the absolute amount of entitlement spending, as well as the portion of total Federal governmental spending represented by this spending category.  In this Commentary we will discuss only Welfare and Unemployment, and its costs, we will take up the other entitlements separately.  We believe these areas should remain community based with Federal funding providing only a minimum and uniform security net.  The States may at their own expense choose to supplement these minimum benefits as they should desire, funding for the Federal benefits will be paid to the States for disbursement.

Definitions;

  1. Welfare and Unemployment, here includes only the Federal portion of the program, as it is our belief that the primary governmental responsibility lies with state and local agencies.
  2. Eligible persons include all U.S. Citizens and all Legal Resident Aliens.
  3. Federal Poverty Level means the H.H.S. annually established Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia.

We propose the following comprehensive solution;

  1. Unemployment benefits to be limited to 26 cumulative weeks, during any 10-year period.
  2. Means test benefits to three times the Federal Poverty Level with 100% of benefits being phased out between the Federal poverty level and 300% of the federal poverty level, effective immediately for all benefit recipients.
  3. Unemployment benefits to be conditioned on proof of an ability to accept a full time, any shift job and accepting any job offered within the person’s physical, mental and educational capabilities (even if not at the level of experience, proficiency or compensation previously held within 50 miles of their place of residence) and proof of the expenditure of no less than 30 hours per week; (a) in job search efforts, educational enrichment and training; or (b) on approved community service, or any combination of the above.
  4. Eligibility for benefits to be further conditioned on proof of legal residence.
  5. Benefits for dependent children to be limited to those children existing as of the time of the initial claim.
  6. Total amount of federally funded benefits not to exceed the annually established Federal Poverty Level.
  7. Provide a lien on all assets held by a benefit recipient at death (or to be gifted during life) in the amount of the future value of all payments received during the participant’s life, for that amount to be repaid to the Federal Treasury from the decedents estate, if any.  Enforce the lien by allowing a civil bounty of 20% to any person or entity successfully recapturing funds for the Treasury.  The purpose of the benefit is to help the needy not to preserve family assets.

All of this recognizes the fact that Unemployment Benefits and Welfare, are social costs of living in a free and caring Nation, and that ultimately we are each individually responsible for our own well-being, support and care, as well as that of our families and a portion of the cost of helping those who cannot help themselves.

 

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