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Old 12-06-2011, 09:34 AM   #21
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Before Porky arrives...

NCCP | Texas: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash Assistance

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Earnings limit for a single-parent family of 3: $4812/yr
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Recipient asset limit: $1,000
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Monthly maximum benefit for family of 3: $223/mo
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There is a lifetime time limit of 60 months on a family''s receipt of federally-funded benefits, but states may exempt up to 20% of their caseload from this limit and/or use state funds to extend benefits.
Where do I sign up?
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #22
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I don't mind an individual applying for "benefits" they are legally entitled. It is the government that makes the "benefits" so easy to get is the problem. Then the people that do scam the system are allowed to get away with it for any number of reasons that boil down to the government pretty much does everything, except going to foreign countries and killing bad guys, poorly. There isn't much the government has made itself responsible for that isn't worse than it used to be. Health care, education, airport security, you name it. Sure it gets bigger and more money is thrown at it, but it doesn't get better and many times gets worse.

Maybe more people are being "helped" by welfare than were being helped by churches and service orgs in the past, but how much more does it cost? How much more fraud and waste is there? And how many more people have become dependant on the seemingly endless support from the government? I'm not saying we shouldn't have some kind of social safety net for those truly in need, but they way we do it now is wrong for so many reasons.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Does this discussion have anything to do with FIRE?
It does seem we are focusing on the "cheats" or whatever they are. But, regarding FIRE, every dollar spent on "welfare" is a dollar that has to come from some form of "confiscation" by government (taxation, fees, "contributions", borrowing via the Treasury, etc. etc.) Most (all?) of us who are FIRE'd do not receive as much as we put into the system, so our standard of living (or else our FIRE date) is affected. So, yes, it does have something to do with FIRE. I guess we've just sort of chosen to gripe about it instead of analyze its specific effect on FIRE.

Hows that for making it a FIRE discussion?

Oh! YMMV
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:05 AM   #24
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It does seem we are focusing on the "cheats" or whatever they are. But, regarding FIRE, every dollar spent on "welfare" is a dollar that has to come from some form of "confiscation" by government (taxation, fees, "contributions", borrowing via the Treasury, etc. etc.) Most (all?) some of us who are FIRE'd do not receive as much as we put into the system, so our standard of living (or else our FIRE date) is affected. So, yes, it does have something to do with FIRE. I guess we've just sort of chosen to gripe about it instead of analyze its specific effect on FIRE.

Hows that for making it a FIRE discussion?

Oh! YMMV
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:20 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
It does seem we are focusing on the "cheats" or whatever they are. But, regarding FIRE, every dollar spent on "welfare" is a dollar that has to come from some form of "confiscation" by government (taxation, fees, "contributions", borrowing via the Treasury, etc. etc.) Most (all?) of us who are FIRE'd do not receive as much as we put into the system, so our standard of living (or else our FIRE date) is affected. So, yes, it does have something to do with FIRE. I guess we've just sort of chosen to gripe about it instead of analyze its specific effect on FIRE.

Hows that for making it a FIRE discussion?

Oh! YMMV
Well, since you ask, when the discussion is about outrage, welfare cheats, and confiscation, using key words like FIRE or portfolio do nothing to make it a legitimate topic. It is at best tenuous and just as likely to end with Mr. Porky.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #26
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Bring on the pig!

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Old 12-06-2011, 12:26 PM   #27
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Sure it's ER relevant. Many of us have posted that they would love to live in a waterfront house in the Seattle area. This is just to show the way, in case funds are low. And other beloved ER pastimes would not be sacrificed- travel to foreign lands, expensive cars etc.

A low cost high consumption ER variant that does not require rake-making skills should be quite popular.

Ha
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #28
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Well, these welfare cheats living in the nice waterfront home aren't working, so in a way, that's their version of FIRE! Although suddenly, a quote from "Smokey and the Bandit" is coming to mind... "A legend, and an out of work bum look an awful lot alike, Daddy"
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:09 PM   #29
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Does this discussion have anything to do with FIRE?
Yup, if we had the money back that the Government gave away for no apparent reason we could all retire earlier.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:12 PM   #30
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Does anyone know how these welfare benefits are means tested? If I had like $500k in stocks in a taxable account and they threw off 3% in divs, for $15k, and lets say I have a house paid off. Could I get some "free stuff"?

I don't want to be a scammer. I'd just like to get some of my money back. Nothing illegal, just from following the rules and requirements as they are spelled out.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:21 PM   #31
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Here is a summary of NYS's programs

New York State Food Stamps & Welfare Benefits | eHow.com
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:23 PM   #32
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Slightly off subject, here's a Flake who is apparently living on a low income, didn't cheat the taxpayers, and knows how to make a deal:

Mother of six trades in $96k house for used minivan | Yahoo! News
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #33
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How much are we willing to give to the government for better enforcement or the rules? I don't see too much in the media distinguishing "spending" from "investment".

Are we willing to contribute directly to families or charities to take care of those who need a hand if we shut down the government programs that do it now? Would that be cheaper and easier and more efficient?

I'd be happy enough with a range of solutions. I imagine there are as many solutions as there are people. Good luck finding something even we could agree on.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:56 PM   #34
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Before this thread gets shut down...I want to get in my $.02.

I would rather focus on our many blessings. Sure, there are corrupt people, but really, there isn't too much I can do about it. I would rather pay attention to the here and now - I have my hands full managing Antmary's life. It seems to be part of the human condition to take advantage, but it also part of the human condition to visualize a better world, and to live in that reality.

I will say, though, that I am very grateful for our social safety net. During my travels, it has given me no joy to see old people begging, to see disabled children with few opportunities for treatment. I will venture to say that most places on earth don't even have 911.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:01 PM   #35
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Does anyone know how these welfare benefits are means tested? If I had like $500k in stocks in a taxable account and they threw off 3% in divs, for $15k, and lets say I have a house paid off. Could I get some "free stuff"?

I don't want to be a scammer. I'd just like to get some of my money back. Nothing illegal, just from following the rules and requirements as they are spelled out.
Different rules in every state, but starting in 2014 you can get heavily subsidized health insurance in this scenario. You can have $50M in the bank with a $25k income and have the taxpayers foot the bill for your insurance.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:27 PM   #36
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Quote:
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Before this thread gets shut down...I want to get in my $.02.

I would rather focus on our many blessings. Sure, there are corrupt people, but really, there isn't too much I can do about it. I would rather pay attention to the here and now - I have my hands full managing Antmary's life. It seems to be part of the human condition to take advantage, but it also part of the human condition to visualize a better world, and to live in that reality.

I will say, though, that I am very grateful for our social safety net. During my travels, it has given me no joy to see old people begging, to see disabled children with few opportunities for treatment. I will venture to say that most places on earth don't even have 911.
I suspect there are very few people who begrudge the social safety net our system provides - 'there but for the grace of...' And I think almost everyone is willing to pay taxes & fees to help those who really can't help themselves for whatever reason. But with 1 in 6 receiving benefits, people probably can't help but wonder if the corruption that you mention isn't more widespread than we should accept or want to afford. It's not hard to find examples of people who seem to be gaming the system, though it's very hard to know for sure. I've seen it at my local grocery store a hundred times, and cashiers will tell you they see it all the time.

Quote:
(CNNMoney) -- One in six Americans is receiving help from the government, just as fiscal austerity threatens to reduce some of that aid.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:31 PM   #37
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Are we willing to contribute directly to families or charities to take care of those who need a hand if we shut down the government programs that do it now? Would that be cheaper and easier and more efficient?
I'll probably bring on the pig, but I would answer "yes" to your question since you included the phrase "those who NEED a hand" (my emphasis). I just read that 46 million people in the US are on food stamps. IOW, from my FIRE budget (Ooops! sorry, but that's what I use to describe my income) I help pay for almost 1 in 8 of my fellow Americans to eat (probably better than I do based on what I see at Safeway most visits.) If my taxes go up, my FIRE budget takes a hit. Somehow seems related to FIRE, but then, what do I know?

By the way, I actually DO contribute directly to help feed hungry folks. I'm on track for 15% to 18% of my FIRE budget going to charity this year. Not bragging, just sayin. And, yes, the charities are more efficient. I know, 'cause I check them out (e.g., volunteer time or visit or read reports/evaluations etc. - as part of what I do now that I'm FIRE'd).

You know, honestly, I don't see this as different than witching about health insurance costs going up. We've raised that to an art form here. It's all about where our FIRE dollars go and what we get for them. I honestly mean no offense to those with differing opinions - just as I accept others opinions about gummint health care even if I disagree with how we do it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:32 PM   #38
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More good use of tax dollars:

CT News Junkie | Malloy: State Employees Defrauded Federal Food Assistance Program

"We operated the program by the federal rules, which did not require any immediate verification of income or assets,” Bremby said."

"This was the first time the state ran the program and it initially thought it would get about 3,800 people lining up for assistance, so it was taken by surprise from 23,000 showed up at its 12 regional offices."
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #39
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I don't know how you can talk about retirement without getting into Social Security, pensions, Medicare and health care - which unavoidably have political aspects. And I don't know how you can talk about retirement without getting into economic outlook which impacts investment returns, inflation, etc. - and unavoidably have political aspects.

It seems politics are closer to the surface here lately, though an old hand told me it's probably because we're coming up on a Presidential election (which makes sense).

I do appreciate that Moderators here have their hands full trying to draw those lines diplomatically, they're never going to be black and white. I've been on other forums where political discussions routinely get completely out of hand with chaos and namecalling that have eventually ruined those forums (members left in droves) - fortunately nothing like that here (believe me).
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:14 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
I don't mind an individual applying for "benefits" they are legally entitled. It is the government that makes the "benefits" so easy to get is the problem. Then the people that do scam the system are allowed to get away with it for any number of reasons that boil down to the government pretty much does everything, except going to foreign countries and killing bad guys, poorly. There isn't much the government has made itself responsible for that isn't worse than it used to be. Health care, education, airport security, you name it. Sure it gets bigger and more money is thrown at it, but it doesn't get better and many times gets worse.

Maybe more people are being "helped" by welfare than were being helped by churches and service orgs in the past, but how much more does it cost? How much more fraud and waste is there? And how many more people have become dependant on the seemingly endless support from the government? I'm not saying we shouldn't have some kind of social safety net for those truly in need, but they way we do it now is wrong for so many reasons.

Not only that, but IMO there are people who would scam the system if provided by gvmt, but would not think of doing so to a church or charity...

(but then again you always hear about the little league who had everything stolen and can not even play.... so I may be wrong)....
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