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Danger in the Safety Net?

I keep hearing about a safety net and how vital it is that we take from the state/federal budget to fund this “support” device.  I have never been involved with ANY government program, except briefly with FEMA after Hurricane Wilma’s punch left us without power for over six weeks and with damage to our property.  The damage resulted in us having to stay at a hotel for three weeks, with our four school-aged kid.

The procedure to be reimbursed for expenses related to the damage was so tedious, we opted out.  We used our savings and paid for the repairs the insurance company would not cover, and the out of pocket expense of staying at a hotel while our home was repaired. That was the extent of our dealings with FEMA.  Anyone that has had to deal with a government entity can probably speak to the complexity of filing claims or even receive any benefit from the billions of tax dollars pumped into state/fed governments annually. The process is so bureaucratic and tedious that most folks, like myself, choose to opt out of any government assistance. After all, our country was built on freedom and self-reliance.

Last year at the start of the Thanksgiving season, I lost my job. I had worked in that position for one year. But the firm owner who I had worked with 20 years previously in another firm had no leadership skills, and the firm, small as it was, suffered.  My first day on the job I had to sit in on the termination of an attorney who had worked for the firm for 3 years.  The attorney was not pleased and the disdain she held for the owner quickly became evident in the exit interview.  That should have been a clue to me the job would not be a good situation, but I I thought she has just been terminated and she is probably upset, so I decided to see it through.  Interestingly, everyone that has left that firm has left with both a sense of relief and an incredible feeling of having wasted their time. My turn to be let go came one Friday afternoon, while I was home recovering from the flu; I received an email from the firm founder stating that we would part ways.

I have never been terminated from a position let alone been terminated by email. A true sign of a coward, but nonetheless I was quietly grateful and started to look for a new job. My daughter urged me to sign up for unemployment benefits. After all, she said, “the employer pays for that.”

Apparently, not having learned my lesson with FEMA, I decided to apply for unemployment and started my online process. I convinced myself it would give me some form of income while I looked for the right opportunity.  Unfortunately, during Christmas, employers are less likely to post job ads and most companies (unless it’s retail) usually don’t hire around the end of the year, or so I learned.

It was shocking to me when I learned the amount I would receive.  Two hundred and seventy-five dollars ($275) per week or one-fifth of my weekly salary.  I thought to myself, is this even worth it? The claim process was a bit convoluted and I would have to keep track of all my applications online.  Nonetheless, I forged ahead.  I wanted to see for myself the pros and cons of being involved in a government program.

There is a 6-day hold on any benefits for that first week you are unemployed.  Although you still have to be in the system and listing job searches. My last date of employment was November 3, 2017. I started looking for work immediately and on November 17, I filed my first claim. On December 4, I received $275.  Almost three weeks later.

I then filed a second claim for December 18 through January 3 and received $550.  I filed no further claims because the amount of money was simply not worth the hassle.  Interestingly, last week, I received an invoice from the state unemployment agency, stating I owed them $550!  Huh!  I owe you what?  I wrote a letter to dispute the invoice and ask for an explanation. I’m guessing it will take a few weeks to hear back.  How does it happen that an unemployed taxpayer, can owe money to the state’s unemployment agency?

One group who knows too well the shortcomings of government care is our dear veterans.  We have all heard the atrocities that go on at the VA. The very liberal CNN reported that as many as 307,000 vets may have died waiting for care.  Whether it’s 307,000 or 37,000  or 370 or even 3 vets dying waiting for VA assistance this demonstrates how poorly government programs perform.  The bottom line is, government programs are just too big and bloated.  It’s just not set up to function for taxpayers and least of all, Veterans.

America is on the precipice of a great decline.  If we do not take control of this rogue government, there will not be a safety net that can save us.  And what of our children and grandchildren, what is the legacy we are going to leave to our future generations?  Will it be one of self-reliance and freedom, or are we to become dependent on the power of a government that can give us what we need and take whatever they want?

The break is made and now our work begins.  You will think me transported with enthusiasm; but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this independence, and to support and defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory; I can see that the end is more than worth all the means, and that posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue, I hope we shall notJohn Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776.

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About Candie Suarez

I have been writing stories and articles for years. I enjoy putting information and research links in most of my articles, except for those written from the heart. Books have been a part of my life since I was a child. I remember as a kid reading the encyclopedia and playing with a dictionary. Word smithing is definitely my thing.

10 comments

  1. U U.S.A. people, cant say citizens because citizens of any country would not b allowing the kaos that dumbnuts Trump has created….its the people who make your country strong not the citizens. The citizens r who r assisting this idiot 2 screw things up

    • Richard Sutherland

      I agree. People will believe whatever they want to believe. That is how Trump conned them. They’ll pay the price in reduced Medicare and Social Security benefits while billions upon billions flow to the top tier.

      • Trump conned no one. Medicare and Social Security are unConstitutional. The billions you speak about are flowing to illegals in our country who are jumping on these programs and being paid to live here though having contributed nothing to the programs. Before coming on this forum and giving a baseless opinion based on your butt-hurt over TRUMP’S victory, I suggest you do some research. You are embarrassing yourself.

    • You could not be more wrong. You are not an American. Do not opine on what you know nothing about. Have some respect when speaking about our President.

  2. Well, shucks…I am American and I guess based on your comment above that gives me license to opine.
    It seems to me that you make statements of opinion as if they are fact; I would remind both you and our president that just because you say it is so (sometimes in ALL CAPS and with !!! for emphasis in 140 character format) does not make it so.

    For example, you state above that “Medicare and Social Security are unConstitutional.” (the word is ‘unconstitutional’, by the way) as if this was a fact. It isn’t.

    The Supreme Court in Helvering vs. Davis (1937) ruled that Social Security is constitutional. The fact that you disagree with the Supeme Court or want it to be diferent does not make it so. It’s even OK to think it ought to be unconstitutional, but none of that changes the determination. I am thankful that we have a system that is not based on mass opinion to determine what is and is not constitutional.

    And nowhere can I find a dispensation that says “this is constitutional, unless you really, really, really, really don’t like it”.
    On the other hand believing wholly in an opinion is not inherantly wrong or factually questionable – I can simply hold a different opinion.

    Referencing a comment above, I don’t think I would use the term ‘conned’ in describing Trump’s victory. Though to be fair I despise the man, what he stands for and what he is doing to, in my opinion, diminish this country. I do think he was pretty transparent in the election about what he represented. I think he is a dishonest and ill-informed man who captured enough votes to win an election…it’s pointless to second guess it. Though I would add – be careful what you wish for.

    That being said, I find it a bit amusing that in your article you state: “I have never been terminated from a position let alone been terminated by email. A true sign of a coward”

    I wonder, how do you feel about terminations by Tweet? I certainly would lump them in that whole “coward” basket. But again, just my opinion.

    I refrain from calling President Trump names as some above have done, and I think the office of the President should be respected. I do not, however, respect a man who holds that office and does so much to bring it shame. I think this will play a future role in exactly what you state you fear – the “great decline” of America.

    It is interesting how the same events can be viewed so differently – it is unfortunate that we have seemingly lost the ability to discuss them. Instead we have all become more closely wedded to our core beliefs supported by whatever media we choose to view; be they conservative or liberal, right-wing left-wing, red or blue. Pointless really until we can rationally talk and effect compromise. When did we forget that no one gets everything they want?

    Now, what do we do about it? That’s an entirely personal choice and clearly depends on your national and world-view. It might even depend on who you voted for. I have chosen to take my modest wealth abroad and live where more rational heads prevail.

    I am not anti-American, but I do think it a sort of just irony that I will move my money abroad, invest abroad, buy property abroad, eventually accept my social security payments abroad and spend them where they will not benefit the American economy. It is a kinder and gentler way of expressing my disdain for the current state of affairs.

    Oh, and I will still vote…absentee, very absentee.

    Please accept my thoughts as different from yours, but no less well-informed. As my father used to say about differing opinions “It’s what makes horseraces”.

    Best Regards.

    • Core beliefs are what built this country. Court’s do not make legislation nor do they confirm them from their bench. The Constitution never called for social security or medicare. That is a leftist/democrat policy that is actually bankrupt. The money that millions of Americans have paid through their lifetime into this so called safety net has been stolen. Stolen by the deep state in order to fund their illegal wars and coups throughout the world; and recently right here, right now against a duly elected sitting President. Enjoy your life abroad.

  3. Ms Suarez is correct. Social security, medicare, etc, ARE UN-CONSTITUTIONAL. If you bother to read the Constitution, and any related documents, there is no mention of anything resembling those monstrosities. They were created by liberal leftist socialist politicians, as the ponzi-scheme social programs they are, to start our nation down the socialist path. They were sold to the public as being self-supporting, but liberal politicians found out, really quickly, that they had control of the bank, and started dipping into the pot in ever deepening servings. Kind of like congress continuing to vote itself pay raises. Trump didnt start the mess, nor can he stop it. Evil people waaay more powerful and wealthier than he, have been, and are, pulling those strings. We are ALL going to pay the price, however, as nothing they are doing is sustainable for very much longer. They might fleece us for a while, but the bigger they are, the harder they will fall. I take great comfirt in that. Thank you, Candie!!

    • Personally I am all for a law suit to get my money back. I will gladly sign a waiver that says I will provide for my own retirement and medical expenses. I want my money back!

  4. The Constitution is one of my favorite documents, along with the Declaration of Independence.

    a question: do you think that only things which are explicitly mentioned in the Constitution are constitutional? My understanding is that the Constitution gives the Congress the power to “promote the general welfare,” among other things. And of course, it can be and has been amended.

    from the Preamble: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    and from Article 1, section 1: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

    Social Security has been an unimaginable boon to millions of people, who worked hard and contributed to it– it’s not a give-away, it’s pay-back. Yes, in the very early days of the program, people received benefits who hadn’t paid in for very long.

    But really, why would you want old people to suffer? The expense is so trivial compared to the benefit. from a recent census study: “Social Security reduces the proportion of elderly people living in poverty from nearly one in two to fewer than one in eight, according to a new study released today of Census data. The study found that in 1997, nearly half of all elderly people — 47.6 percent — had incomes below the poverty line before receipt of Social Security benefits. After receiving Social Security benefits, only 11.9 percent remained poor.” https://www.cbpp.org/archives/4-8-99socsec.htm

    “Every pay period, starting with our first jobs, America’s workers contribute to Social Security. The program uses those funds to pay all benefits and related administrative costs. Social Security does not add even a penny to the deficit, as Republican President Ronald Reagan so clearly stated when he was president.”

    Social Security and the Deficit: “Social Security has its own dedicated revenue stream described above, so it cannot contribute a penny to the federal deficit. In fact, it currently enjoys a $2.8 trillion surplus that will grow to $2.9 trillion by 2019. And Social Security is forbidden by law from borrowing, so it cannot deficit spend.”

    “When Social Security runs a surplus, Social Security holds the funds in trust. Social Security currently has a $2.9 trillion accumulated surplus. In the guise of a so-called balanced budget amendment, 233 members of the House of Representatives just voted to pretend that the accumulated surplus does not exist.”
    https://www.socialsecurityworks.org/2018/04/12/politicians-steal-social-security/

    “Social Security is the nation’s largest and most generous program for disabled workers, providing 8.9 million with benefits. It is also the nation’s largest and most generous children’s program, serving 4.3 million children. In fact, about one in three Social Security beneficiaries are receiving disability or survivor benefits.”

    “Social Security can never go bankrupt. Nearly all (97 percent) of its income comes from the contributions of workers and employers, or interest on these contributions. Hence as long as there are workers in America, Social Security will have income. Even if Congress were to take no action, Social Security could pay 100% of promised benefits for the next 17 years, and more than three-quarters of benefits after that. Around 2034 there will be a modest funding gap requiring modest increases in revenues to guarantee everyone 100% of promised benefits.”

    Social security funding: Social Security’s revenue was about $957 billion in 2016. The program has three sources of income. The largest source comes from workers and employers who contribute 6.2% each on wages up to $127,200 a year; this raises 87% of the total. The second source is investment income from Social Security’s reserves, which are held in Trust and invested in interest-bearing U.S. treasury bonds; this raises 9% of total revenue. Finally, Social Security gets 3% of its revenue from the taxes that beneficiaries pay on their Social Security benefits.

    • This is misinformation non steroids. The idea that you say that only in the beginning did people who had not paid into the system receive social security, if patently false. I know numerous older people who have recently (last 5 years) arrived from Cuba and receive social security. Despite never having worked in this country nor paid ONE CENT into social security. In fact, one lady I know received not only social security benefits, food stamps but also qualified for section 8 housing though she arrived in the U.S. in 2013. My mother, (God rest her soul) worked in thus U.S since early 1960s, worked her entire life, and at the age of 70 after falling and dislocating her shoulder and then being diagnosed with breast cancer, never received any form of disability, Section 8 housing, and received only $10 a month in food stamps, and her social security which was about $500 per month. Her rent was $700 per month so I had to subsidize her rent payment and purchase her groceries every month. Meanwhile people who never worked in this country or paid into social security, received over $1,000 a month in benefits. Explain that?

      But really, why would you want old people to suffer? The expense is so trivial compared to the benefit. From a recent census study: “Social Security reduces the proportion of elderly people living in poverty from nearly one in two to fewer than one in eight, according to a new study released today of Census data.

      Elderly people are having to work longer and into their late 60 and 70s because the social security benefits they receive are not enough to allow them to live independently and without the income a part/full-time job provides. Have you been to your nearest grocery store, mine are chock full of elderly men and women who cannot retire and afford to live.

      Disabled? Really? Have you any idea how much fraud is perpetrated regarding disability?

      I can assure you that social security is already out of money, as billions upon billions are being used to fund bureaucracies which are subversive and unconstitutional. To answer your question, none of what is happening today in this government is Constitutional. None of it. I would prefer that the Social Security Administration refund every cent I have paid into this pyramid scheme, and let me invest my money and provide for my own healthcare.

      I do not want or need the government to provide for me. You shouldn’t either. None of us should. For that which the government giveth, it can taketh away.

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