September 22, 2013,
To the Hon. US Representatives
Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson and
all Members of Congress:
Welfare reform is being carried out the wrong way
by Members of Congress. The "unintended consequences"
which will flow from the "good intentions" of this latest
legislative leap in the dark are already predictable -
Welfare reform is being undertaken in a way which
will result in even more taxpayer dollars being wasted,
in even more unnecessary tragedies and deaths, and
in a way which will fill up America's already
bursting-at-the-seams, ineffective correctional institutions
which do nothing to correct crime, but rather tend to enrich
the profiteers of the prison industry - politically connected
Simple math shows that welfare recipients are being
PUNISHED for attempting to enter or re-enter the job
One set of numbers shows that for the first $85 per month
earned by a welfare recipient, there is no penalty.
After that, there is a penalty of $1 for every $2 earned
by a welfare recipient.
If that $2 figure is BEFORE TAXES, which it probably is,
it means that this "get back to work" punishment is
actually encouraging welfare recipients to stay home
and avoid looking for work as if they are avoiding the plague.
Congress racks up another political photo op,
gets re-elected, and lets the voters pay for the cost. AGAIN!
Do the math. Welfare recipients are either being forced
into jobs which 1) pay no more than an average of $3 PER DAY,
or 2) are UNDER THE TABLE - or illicit.
Not that Washington politicians and their well-heeled lobbyist
friends would ever do anything to encourage prostitution!
One of the provisions of the new "reform" is that "pedophiles"
will not be eligible for welfare benefits.
"Every politicians mother was a pedophile." Why?:
"Pedophile" means "someone who loves children."
But hurling the word is a guaranteed clincher to any argument
(even though it is the wrong word, often hurled in the wrong way
toward the wrong person - and often BY the wrong person who
should be the last one to be hurling anything at anyone, as it
often turns out!)
Even if we rule out the fact that Government makes mistakes
all the time (even in courts) and that many people have
been deliberately prosecuted on such charges for POLITICAL
reasons, in order to shut them up or discredit their opposition
to corrupt schemes of corrupt or warmongering politicians
let us presume for the time being that every conviction of
a "pedophile" is flawless and well-deserved.
Now think about this: The Federal Government wants to
END THEIR WELFARE BENEFITS.
These are people who, for the most part,
CANNOT GET JOBS
CANNOT LIVE ANYWHERE!
Is Congress trying to inflict a death penalty through the back door?
YOU BET THEY ARE!
What is the most likely unintended consequence?
Word will go out among the criminals -
"you cannot allow any child witness to your crimes
to survive, because if you do, it will cost you your life."
That's not RIGHT - but that's the way CRIMINALS THINK!
And legislation will not change that fact.
Congress, by legislating this further punishment, is going
to condemn innocent children to death.
So much for the easy pedophile-bashing political photo-op.
The INTELLIGENT approach for Congress would be to
recognize that we have a prison system and a judicial
system which makes it IMPOSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE
WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS - including hundreds of thousands
of Americans wrongfully convicted in courts of law -
TO EVER OBTAIN MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT AGAIN!
The only employment most of these people will ever obtain
is employment which COSTS TAXPAYERS hundreds of dollars
for every dollar it puts into the pocket of the person whose
permanent record is permanently tarnished by a crime -
whether real or not.
We need EXONERATIONS for these hundreds of thousands
of Americans who have been wrongfully convicted.
<www.facebook.com/groups/126111847544449/> for starters.
NO ONE in Washington has lifted a finger toward this
clemency request despite the fact that some of these
justifiable requests have been in the hopper of the President
Congress and the President don't care about the money wasted
on wrongful convictions - IT'S NOT COMING OUT OF THEIR
They also don't care about the money wasted on welfare
which could be used putting people back to work.
Even people who are guilty of relatively minor offenses
SHOULD NOT BE SCARRED FOR LIFE.
Not unless YOU WANT TO PAY FOR IT, BUNKY!
You are paying for it too.
"Just close your eyes" and pretend that you aren't.
Don't think twice. It's alright.
The way Congress has these "back to work" guidelines
worked out amounts to a REGRESSIVE TAX on the poor.
A "regressive tax" is one where the poor are hardest
hit by it.
Corporate executives who lobby Congress for WELFARE
BENEFITS for their corporations are never told to "get
back to work" or punished in the way the poor are.
They get all kinds of preferential treatment from Congress.
I agree that people should not get a handout from the
Government. I was saying this before saying that was
"cool". But there is a right way and a wrong way to
If a doctor has just had a patient rushed over who is suffering
from gangrene in the leg, and the doctor begins to amputate
the head of the patient instead of the leg, someone would
need to walk over to the doctor and say, "STOP."
That's what we need to say to our gangrenous Congress now,
as well as to the Head of State.
The regressive math must be changed.
First, $100 - not $85 - should be the threshold at which
welfare recipients begin to lose benefits as a result of
earning that $100 per month. But the loss of benefits
should not be a PUNISHMENT FOR WORKING!
The loss of benefits should only take effect after the first
of the year in the year after the welfare recipient starts to
get back to work, and maintains employment for at least
three months of that prior year, for at least 80 hours
These two simple reforms will make the numbers easier
to handle for IRS employees (who are, as we know, busy
with the task of political repression against the Tea Party)
and will give welfare recipients a chance to get back on
Now, the mathematical scale of loss of benefits should
be less punitive, and less interfering with the incentives to
go back to work or to enter the job market.
Instead of a flat curve of losing $1 for every additional $2
earned above the limit, the loss should take place
For the first four dollars earned above the limit, the welfare
recipient loses one penny in benefits. For the 2nd four
dollar bracket, two cents, and so forth up to the 400th dollar
above the limit, at which the welfare recipient will lose
$1 for every four dollars of welfare benefits received.
In this way, the loss of welfare benefits will be adequately
cushioned by earned income obtained at an honest job.
This will encourage people to get back to work by removing
the fear of abrupt loss of benefits.
By being more generous in the way the back-to-work issues
are handled for welfare recipients, this leniency will actually
save taxpayers billions of dollars per month - and of course
welfare recipients will BECOME taxpayers, because everyone
who eats, wants to live better, if they have the opportunity.
The graduated increment works better than the
oversimplified, arbitrary number - a number which
often seems like a fiery hoop to those who are asked
by Congress or a State legislature to jump through.
We have some other ideas about jumping that
Government might want to try, the next time they
tell the American people to go jump....as Government
has done too often in recent years.
Welfare must not be a self-perpetuating trap, or an
excuse for Government to treat people invasively.
People who are handicapped or disadvantaged in
obtaining employment should not be perpetually
humiliated by telling them that welfare is their only
option for above-the-table income, or that if they
obtain employment that they will lose benefits.
This is the stupidest and cruelest thing Government
can tell handicapped and disadvantaged people.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to have hope
in the Land of Opportunity.
Please sign this petition and check the links on
it - links such as this:
Good luck to everyone who clicks the link directly above,
and all the other links here in this petition.
And to all members of Congress - you will have better luck
if you ACTUALLY READ LEGISLATION and THINK ABOUT
WHAT YOU ARE READING before voting "YES". How do you
know your legislative assistants or Legislative Directors are
not being bribed by some corporate interest or lobbyist to
tell you to vote this way or that? How do you know that
you can even trust anyone from the White House?
Haven't you learned your lesson on that very recently?
Are you PROUD of Washington politics in recent years?
We hope something can be done to change it.
Very truly yours,
Committee of 37 Peace Initiative
PO Box 877
Edgmont, PA 19028-0877
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