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 not. John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776.