Then public subsidy programs came along and suddenly the family had a way out: they could dump the offending relative on the government, except there is no “government”—there’s just your neighbors paying the bill. In the beginning, it was shameful and you hid from the neighbors the fact that you had a relative on the public dole but as the generations rolled on, it stopped being an embarrassment and became an alternative solution. Families no longer had to take care of their own; there were, increasingly, government programs to cover every kind of human problem.
The down side to this was that taxes started to go up, but nobody made the connection between the high cost of their taxes and their low compassion for their relatives. Families were now allowed to abandon their troublesome relatives. After I got out of the hospital when I was twenty-one, my parents kicked me out and told me to go on Welfare. They said I needed to learn to be independent; what they wanted was to be undependable. There is no more immense or intolerable dependency than being dependent on government programs. It is horrific and devours your soul.
I have three sisters. Each one was healthy enough to work full-time and therefore wealthy enough to own a car and a house. Because I am unhealthy I cannot work, therefore my only source of income is Social Security Disability. I travel by wheelchair in Medicaid transportation vans and paratransit buses, subsidized by the government, that is, my neighbors. Because my sisters will not drive me to the doctor, my neighbors have to pay for it to be done.
That’s the way it is for most of us folks who are receiving public services: our families have abandoned us. Look around you: how many members of your own extended family are receiving some sort of government support because you don’t want to take care of them? You want to spend less on Medicaid? It’s easy: provide care yourself.
Buy food for your poor relatives. Get the family together to pay their heat bill. Drive them to the doctor. Don’t want to? Then shut up and pay for somebody else to do it. And keep in mind that for you to do it through the government means that very little of your money goes to direct services and a whole lot of your money goes to government bureaucrats who assess, authorize, monitor, audit and investigate the spending of your money. Take care of your own relatives and cut the overhead.
We no longer are a nation committed to doing the Lord’s will, so we’re okay with not sharing with people who have less that we do. We are a nation of selfish people. We don’t tithe, that is, give ten percent of our income to the church. In America, statistics show that the average person donates one percent to the church, except among poor people. Poor people donate 1.5 percent. Didn’t know that, did you?
Poor people, who know how hard it is, share a greater portion of their income than does the middle class. Those who have, keep; those who have less, share. You are relatively privileged people and you don’t share. Every single person who bitches about the high cost of Medicaid has more than every person who receives Medicaid. You are selfish and don’t want to take care of those who can’t do for themselves.
Well, okay, I’m done. I’m tired of defending my right to live. I’m sick of trying to make ends meet, get up, keep up—and without ever going to a movie or concert or out to dinner. I can’t afford to do any of the things that make life worthwhile and I’m tired of trying to justify my existence. I’m tired of reading, day after day, what a lazy immoral leech I am and how it’s my fault that you’re unhappy, so give me one last Medicaid program. Give me death. Let me put myself out of your misery. It’s what you want and now it’s what I want, so let’s do it.
You kill me. It’s the final solution to the Medicaid problem. I’m just asking you to do it all at once, instead of cutting one program after another so that my suffering steadily increases. You will, of course, have to stand before God some day and accept eternal judgment for your actions but you’re in denial about the existence of a supreme power so that’s not a problem. There isn’t enough money in the world to get me to stand in your shoes for one second. Every major religion—Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism—teaches that you are to care for the poor and sick but, oh well, that doesn’t apply to you, does it?