January 26, 2009 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #634577anon for thisParticipant
You are correct that welfare is meant for the poor; that’s why applications for programs such as food stamps and Temporary Aid to Needy Families ask questions about one’s assets as well as one’s income. If later investigations prove that there were undisclosed assets or income, the government can ask for the money back.January 26, 2009 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #634578anon for thisParticipant
[Moderator, would you please add this post to the one I just posted to this thread? I hit enter too soon on the previous post. Thanks.]
However, in many states programs such as WIC are income-based only, so one can qualify for food vouchers even if one has significant assets, as long as one’s income is below the qualifying threshold. The same is true of Medicaid programs for children and pregnant women. Studies have determined that WIC program, for example, is an economically sound investment for the governments, in that each dollar spent on the program results in reduced government costs later. Of course it’s also true that, as you said, governments may change guidelines for these programs as their costs increase and their income shrinks.
One problem with so many families becoming economically dependent on government programs is that if these programs are eliminated or significantly modified, many families will no longer have a means of support. This is what happened in E”Y when the government modified the family allowances in a way that no longer benefitted large families as much.January 26, 2009 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #634579
SJS, is it immoral to follow incentives and disincentives? Is that not human nature?January 26, 2009 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #634580gavra_at_workParticipant
Oh No! I see it now! We are being conditioned to be Communists! 🙂January 26, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #634581artchillParticipant
Just lose your eyes and imagine……..
Had Social Security been privatized as former President Bush suggested, which would have benefitted the top 10% of taxpayers. The stock market crumbles, money managers abscond with the investment money, and the economy running on empty. How many more people would be tempted to commit suicide from the shock, of all their retirement money down the tubes?
At least for NOW there are Social Security checks for retirement, even though it’s bupkess.January 26, 2009 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm #634582ddMember
From the original letter:
“We started discussing the matter and he told me that his salary is $25,000, and that the yeshiva works out his payments so that he is still eligible for government funding.”
Can someone explain to me what it means that “the yeshiva works out his payments so that he is still eligible”? I don’t know what the rules are for governement funding, but I assume that it does NOT mean that a mossad haTorah would help someone cheat the government. Please tell me that it’s not a geneivah.January 27, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am #634583
As long as Jewish tax dollars pay for the chaleres using welfare, every qualified Jew should take FULL advantage of every available dollar.January 27, 2009 12:57 am at 12:57 am #634584
SJS, is it immoral to follow incentives and disincentives? Is that not human nature?
It is immoral to play the games that many people do. Some examples:
The parents buy a house and then “rent” it to their kids through section 8.
People don’t get legally married so that they qualify for more services.
They don’t TRY to get a job.
They get paid in cash to qualify for more services.
I hear these stories way too often. And yes, I think the situations above are immoral and taking advantage of the generosity of this country. Substitute “Tzedaka organization” and see how many people try to get around the rules to get more money. No one would because you don’t take advantage of tzedaka organizations!January 27, 2009 3:41 am at 3:41 am #634585
As long as the low of the world take free reign of all available government money, every Jew should apply for and receive every available dollar they technically qualify for.January 27, 2009 5:08 am at 5:08 am #634586
dd – you misunderstood. the writer is stating that the yeshiva administrator’s salary and benefits was structured to maximize the qualifications (legally) for government assitance.
very smart of them.January 27, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am #634587
every Jew should apply for and receive every available dollar they technically qualify for
Do you think that includes the examples I gave above? Especially “getting paid in cash to qualify for more services”? Not only is that stealing tax money from the American people, it is also stealing services then. Do you really condone this Joseph?January 27, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #634588jphoneMember
I will not comment on the legality or ethics of some of the situations described above. I will say, that B”H I am employed and pay taxes. Now that I am paying taxes, I would prefer the government use the money on an Avreich somewhere so that he can sit and learn and not on some study that tries to learn the eating habits of the Playtapus off the coast of Australia.January 27, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm #634589
SJS – No, I mean legally.January 27, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #634591yitzy99Member
“As long as Jewish tax dollars pay for the chaleres using welfare, every qualified Jew should take FULL advantage of every available dollar.”
Chaleres did not become chaleres overnight.
Copy their behavior and what will you become?January 27, 2009 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #634592lesschumrasParticipant
I find it difficult to believe that you endorse “As long as the low of the world take free reign of all available government money, every Jew should apply for and receive every available dollar they technically qualify for”.
The midos of the low of the world should not be thge standard we measure ourselves by.January 27, 2009 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #634593gavra_at_workParticipant
Actually, that is the view of the Gedolim in EY. Soak the government (in EY) for every penny that you can get. Agree to nearly anything as long as the Yeshivos get funding.
C”V that we should argue with the Gedolim.January 27, 2009 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #634594
SJS, there is NOTHING wrong with getting paid in cash. Not in my opinion, and not in the opinion of the IRS. There are circumstances that require it. Not reporting those cash payments, however, is illegal. Of course no frum person should be doing anything illegal. So taking cash “under the table” to maintain welfare status is crooked and is NOT condoned.
Not trying to get a job, is a valid and legitimate response to incentives. I have no problem with that. Make it sweet enough and I won’t work a day in my life. In the UK, they actually have such a system, where one can volunteer to NOT join the workforce in exchange for payments.
The number of games that people do is enormous. Some are completely legitimate, some are pretty shady. But I will only condemn the ones that are illegal (though I would never want anyone I know to do anything shady either).January 27, 2009 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #634595
SJS, there is NOTHING wrong with getting paid in cash. Not in my opinion, and not in the opinion of the IRS. There are circumstances that require it. Not reporting those cash payments, however, is illegal.
You are of course, correct. I should phrase that better.
Not trying to get a job, is a valid and legitimate response to incentives. I have no problem with that. Make it sweet enough and I won’t work a day in my life.
The programs are set up to help people that need it. I think there should be sweeping reforms. One way is to have an employment office where if you turn down a job for an illegitimate reason, you don’t get benefits. If you arent willing to do some hard labor (and that might be literal or figurative), then why should I pay for you to sit around doing nothing? There is nothing wrong with being a grocery bagger at ShopRite, but there is something wrong to me with doing nothing to get MY money.
Now that I am paying taxes, I would prefer the government use the money on an Avreich somewhere so that he can sit and learn and not on some study that tries to learn the eating habits of the Playtapus off the coast of Australia.
There are plenty of good uses for our tax money – repairing our roads, educating our children etc…but my tax money is NOT there to support people learning in Kollel. That is what my maaser money is for. And taking advantage of the system (especially in such a bad economy), is going to break the system.January 27, 2009 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #634596ddMember
When I file my taxes, I take every deduction that I am allowed to, but I would never take deductions that I am not entitled to (or ch”v misreport my income in any way). Similarly, there is nothing wrong with taking benefits that the law allows. But there is everything wrong with playing games (e.g. cash under the table, hiding assets, etc) and then claiming benefits.
Unfortunately, these gneivas are sometimes done by individuals in all segments of our community. I understand the yetzer hara to do it. But it is completely wrong, legally, morally, and halachically.
(As an aside, it’s really stomach churning to hear the same person argue that every chumra must be followed in bein adom l’makom, but search for every kula when it comes to the possibility or safek (or even not so safek) gneiva. Some people call it clever. Perhaps a few gedarim should be enacted here too.)January 27, 2009 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #634597JotharMember
People do what they are rewarded to do. If you reward people for not working, why should they work? If you reward people for working, then of course people will work.January 27, 2009 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #634598
SJS, reform sounds like a good idea. Which means it will never happen. G’luck!January 27, 2009 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #634599syriansephardiMember
People who don’t work think that people who do work have money because their not in their situation everyone is different. We don’t no how much money ANYONE has! A person may look wealthy but meanwhile their car was baught used and noone nose, their vacation was basically free bc of miles and things like that… Everyone has to stop judging how much money others have and keep their nose in their own pockets!!January 28, 2009 2:19 am at 2:19 am #634600Hill of BeansMember
dd: no one here is advocating any kula when it comes to the possibility or safek of gneiva.January 28, 2009 4:12 am at 4:12 am #634601Hill of BeansMember
dd: no one here is advocating any kula when it comes to the possibility or safek of gneiva.January 28, 2009 3:40 pm at 3:40 pm #634602jphoneMember
Me: Now that I am paying taxes, I would prefer the government use the money on an Avreich somewhere so that he can sit and learn and not on some study that tries to learn the eating habits of the Playtapus off the coast of Australia.
SJS: There are plenty of good uses for our tax money – repairing our roads, educating our children etc…but my tax money is NOT there to support people learning in Kollel. That is what my maaser money is for. And taking advantage of the system (especially in such a bad economy), is going to break the system.
Let me rephrase what I said. There are portions of my taxes that are earmarked for all sorts of causes. The portion earmarked for “social services”, I would prefer be made larger while the portion allocated to things like studying the eating habits of the Platypus be scrapped. I’d much rather fund someone sitting and learning than some scientist out in the middle of nowhere looking at a Platypus down its lunch.January 28, 2009 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #634603Itzik_sMember
There is a BIG difference between qualifying for benefits and getting them (including for legitimate avreichim) and any type of benefit fraud.
I, for one, will never forget and never forgive the very FDRoosevelt YMSvZ who started all this welfare for refusing to allow Jewish refugees to enter the US during the war and worse yet for not accepting Jews at the Evian Conference. Therefore, I feel it is only fair when a kollel couple gets assistance for rebuilding Torah from the very government that sat by when their grandparents were in camps during WW2. And this is such a drop in the bucket compared to real welfare culture broken families. What is more, I agree that the system will collapse, so that unlike the children of the welfare culture, the children of kollel families will not all continue on benefits. Finally, at some point, many people leave kollel so that the benefits were temporary anyway.
SJS, you should be happy that YOUR money, which the moment you pay it in taxes is the GOVERNMENT’s money, goes to fund a few Torah families and not just wasteful projects and welfare culture broken families which produce nothing but criminals. I agree that for all we know, the zechus of this support is all that is keeping America successful and stable in these trying times.
What is more, Shop-Rite doesn’t need any more baggers. Some of their franchisees will probably be closing stores soon.
Welfare or benefits FRAUD is another story. It needs to be rooted out and fast. And bench warming as opposed to learning needs to be stopped as well, but the economy combined with growth of the community will probably leave little room for wasting community resources.January 28, 2009 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #634604
There used to be a time that taking services was seen as something to avoid/hide. Its a blessing and a curse that it is no longer shameful.
I am happy we have options when things go bad. I hope I never know the feeling of worrying about where my next meal is coming from.
ALso, IIRC there are certain services that have a number limit (like the first X number ofpeople). WIC is like that I think. So if you take the service but don’t really need it, you are potentially blocking someone that really needs it.
And yes, FRAUD should be stopped 100%!January 28, 2009 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #634606JotharMember
I know that in NY, HUD and HEAP are hard to get for that reason. It’s easier in NJ.
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