By Amanda Rougeaux / Opinions Editor
By Amanda Rougeaux / Opinions Editor
Federally funded and governed U.S. welfare began in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
The system was put in place for families and individuals in the Great Depression who were having trouble with income.
Welfare systems differ from country to country, but welfare is commonly provided to individuals who are unemployed, those with an illness or disability, the elderly, those with dependent children and veterans.
A person’s eligibility for welfare may also be determined by means testing or other conditions.
Welfare was put in place to ensure that every American citizen has a chance at the American Dream.
Many Americans are unhappy with the welfare system. Citizens claim the system is abused and flawed.
Welfare has received a bad reputation in regards to what it stands for.
In this economy, welfare is a life-saver to some. While others feel it is a burden to be supporting others as well as themselves.
Since it is a federally funded program, the money for welfare recipients comes out of the taxes paid to the government.
Therefore, money for welfare is indirectly taken out of our paychecks.
It would be a different story if there were different, more suitable requirements for receiving welfare and temporary assistance for needy families.
For instance, before receiving any type of federally or state funded assistance, people should have to undergo some sort of test, along with a background check.
The test should consist of different questions about the applicant’s future goals and a reason why they feel they should receive assistance.
Although giving tests and background checks may be a good idea, some people might feel that these precautions are an invasion of privacy and refuse.
I am certain to receive welfare one must undergo certain related precautions, but I feel the provisions already in place should be reformed to ensure United States citizens fair assistance.
Many accuse welfare of not encouraging work or education. This is not completely true.
Even if a measure was put in place so that recipients had to have a job or acquire one with-in so many months of receiving the first welfare check, many people would lose their assistance due to lack of education or lack of open positions.
Most welfare recipients are immigrants and refugees who have come to America uneducated or with little to no money.
This makes it hard for them to acquire and hold a job.
“Thirteen years after welfare reform, the share of immigrant-headed households (legal and illegal) with a child (under age 18) using at least one welfare program continues to be very high. This is partly due to the large share of immigrants with low levels of education and their resulting low incomes-not their legal status or an unwillingness to work,” said Steven A. Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Though some receiving welfare may be undocumented immigrants, this is not what is hurting the welfare system.
Since the Temporary Assistance for needy families bill was passed, less and less people are on welfare or temporary assistance.
A way to reform the system would be to give adult education alongside welfare assistance to help boost the chances of obtaining a steady job and one day being able to support themselves.
Children are required to go to kindergarten through grade 12, whether they are supported by welfare or not.
So why should the adults who receive welfare be any different?
Of course, they cannot go through kindergarten and up but they should be able to go to an adult school to obtain a General Education Degree while they are working or applying for jobs.
Though the temporary assistance reform has helped some, others are finding it harder to receive welfare or assistance.
A little more reform, compromise and polishing should make the welfare system better than it has ever been.