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Mar 27th
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako The Stimulus to Stimulate Welfare Money; Fil-Vets Beggars Cannot Be Choosy
The Stimulus to Stimulate Welfare Money; Fil-Vets Beggars Cannot Be Choosy PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Friday, 20 February 2009 09:00


The American public is NOT going to be waking up one morning four years from now and say: ‘What a great economy!  It all goes back to that vote that the Democrats passed on the stimulus bill.’” – Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, House Republican Whip


I totally agree with that quote above.  Instead of JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, as he promised during his presidential campaign, President Obama’s economic stimulus package ramps up: SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!


The bill includes BILLIONS in new money for food stamps, expanded child care and services for the homeless.


More money for welfare.  More money for low-income and special-education students.  New refundable tax credits for low-income workers. Expanded health-care coverage for the poor.  And, an increase of $100 a month in unemployment insurance.


According to The Washington Post the package is a ‘Trojan horse that will provide historic funding increases in a way that will prove to be politically difficult to stop once the nation emerges from its economic tailspin.”


And that according to the think tank of the Heritage Foundation, this stimulus plan would be “creating new entitlements that are not likely to go away,” and calling it the “undoing of welfare reform” that will eliminate “financial incentives for states to reduce welfare rolls.”


In other words, the plan will encourage people to be lazy and to depend on government to give them alms, instead of encouraging people to get off their butts and work.  


In Barako words, we are perpetuating the enabling of America’s PALS (palamunins).


FEEDBACKS, FEEDBACKS: My story last week, “Finally, Alms Money for the FilVets,” provoked several feedbacks from readers.  Some blatantly cursed me; some cursed me under their breadths; some were unprintable.


But some were intelligent feedbacks, well-written and well-thought of.  Here are two, en toto.  This is the first one: 




It must be lonely to be “a lone voice (crying out) in the wilderness.  I applaud your courage to stick to your views on the FilVets Equity Bill.  I am mindful that my taxes help pay for those benefits, and I am glad to know that they go to fellow Pinoys.  They earned the benefits with their military service, and are, I believe, far more deserving than the unwed mom and her octuplets.


I share your deep reservation about distributing the wealth (taxes) through entitlement programs, such as welfare, food stamps, free or subsidized housings, tax credits, and the like.  This mandated charity will, I believe, create a class of “mendicants” who will forever depend on the government for assistance.


Meanwhile, like most taxpayers, I am struggling to make ends meet or maintain a comfortable lifestyle to which I am accustomed.  After tightening my belt or making do with less, I am no better than my “brothers” whom I am supporting with my taxes.


Until such time that there are enough Americans outraged enough to flick the Socialists in Congress out of office, I guess we just have to learn to live with Obama’s commandment, “Spread the wealth.”


Take heart.  You are not alone.


Connie Reyes,

A Concerned Filipino American


Here’s the second one:


Dear Jesse,


I don’t have any problem with our FilVets getting something from the “generous” Uncle Sam.  At least, as war veterans who fought alongside and died with American soldiers during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict, I do believe that they are entitled to some kind of compensation as originally promised by the U.S. government.  If people from different countries, who had no previous allegiance to or alliance with the United States can come over and abuse the generosity of its welfare system, then why not those few remaining FilVets who had fought for this country in at least four wars.  And you can even include the Spanish-American War.


But I agree with you that the way in which the benefit was obtained had dishonored us, Filipinos.  Why do we have to lower ourselves so much by begging the U.S. government for something that should have been given to our FilVets freely in the first place?  Why do we have to go down on our knees for 60 years pleading for our FilVets if the U.S. government really feels that our FilVets truly deserved to be compensated?  And now, after 60 years, it’s either the U.S. government probably got tired of our constant nagging to finally capitulate or those Democrats decided that they can capitalize on this issue in terms of future political payback.  Where is our national pride?  Where is our amor propio?


The total amount of the FilVets’ benefit is so miniscule compared to the billions of dollars in yearly outlays that the U.S. government provides Israel and Egypt and the billions more being sent in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And let us not also forget the millions of dollars in debt that Jordan owed which the U.S. government forgave at the request of King Abdullah.  And these countries did not even help the United States during those wars that I mentioned earlier.  Yet it took the U.S. government six decades to finally provide our FilVets the alms that are nothing but nickels and dimes compared to the real money that they spend on other countries that had never helped them in the past, militarily or otherwise.


One thing is perfectly clear: “Tayong mga Pinoy ay niloloko ng mga Kano.”


Don Azarias,

Bartlett, Illinois


My reply to my friend, Don: “What really is very clear here is the adage that beggars cannot be choosy.”  JJ


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Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2009 09:43

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