William Thien

The “Ineligibility-For-The-Government-Program-But-Can’t-Afford-It-On-The-Open-Market-Anyway-Syndrome”

Posted on: January 16, 2013

I’m suffering a severe bout of the “Ineligibility-For-The-Government-Program-But-Can’t-Afford-It-On-The-Open-Market-Anyway-Syndrome.” For example, I’ve decided not to turn the heat on in my apartment this winter. I may, but I haven’t, yet. It’s too expensive to run the furnace. You might want to know that it gets down to ten degrees at night where I reside. But that’s beside the point, in a way at least.

Also, last year my employer had to implement European Union style austerity measures on my employment section at work so I lost all of my benefits. I lost my health care, vision and dental, all of my sick days and was not paid for them, no life insurance, and I am now just paid an hourly wage. My employer didn’t have much of a choice.

I really don’t have a problem with my circumstances. But it would be nice to be able to turn the heat on a time or two on a cold night. The problem with that though is that I can’t really afford it. If I turn my heat on regularly my savings will diminish dramatically and leave me in a precarious economic position. Many around me are able to obtain heat assistance, but I make too much money to be eligible (the government classifies me as upper lower-income or lower middle-income depending on the year, by the way).

Many I have spoken with are also eligible for medical programs offered by the state I reside in due to their income and family structure. I am not married but am not willing to start a family like many merely to become wards of the state to make eligibility (The State? That’s you and I, by the way, as we are the ones paying for the programs). Even though I lost all of my health benefits, I am ineligible because again I make too much money, not enough to afford heating my apartment regularly though while still saving up some reserves, but too much money to be eligible for medical care offered by the state. I would add that of all receiving the benefits that I have spoken with, none have served in the military, yet I have. On average I take home about 65 to 70 percent of my wages after all is said and done.

Are you with me, yet? You should be. If you are not, don’t bother reading on. By now you are probably slapping the mortar on the bricks.

I am not telling you this because I want the eligibility requirements for the aforementioned programs to change really. I am telling you this to explain what I think is happening to this country, this country which is rapidly becoming communist, selectively communist, and I am telling you this because I think things should change. Because I pay for all of these programs but am eligible for none of them. Communism is bad enough. Didn’t we learn from the fall of the Soviet Union? Selective communism, what we have here in The United States, is worse. It’s not only an inefficient system. It’s a daily insult of humongous proportions. It’s a spit in the face to those who pay for it but are ineligible. It really is.

I do not fit into any clearly defined federal definition of any minority so I am not eligible for any such assistance if it exists. I am a single male with no write-offs, just a regular working person. I kind of like it that way and don’t want the government to make me jump through all sorts of tax code hoops in order to keep what I earn. I am what probably was once called a regular “working stiff.” But apparently that isn’t allowed anymore. I merely earn what until last year was a living wage. I have no children so I can’t claim withholding allowances and take home more on my pay check nor can I claim dependent child tax deductions and receive a hefty tax return. I am not working any angle that I can use to declare some bogus expenses on my taxes, either. I pay a disproportionately larger share in taxes than any other social class in my earnings bracket yet I use the fewest services of any other social class. You know what that means? The tax code is entirely backwards as it pays those who use all the services and charges those who use the least; the tax code is unfair to someone like myself and it is not structurally functional. Just do the math.

I am not complaining. I am merely explaining the realities of the tax code and the mountain of social programs for which taxes are levied on the population of people like me to pay for all of the entitlements and special tax deductions of which none of them am I am eligible. Yet, I make them possible.

So what do I think should be done?

It’s time to start over with the entitlements. We can’t pay for them all, anyway. It’s time to erase all of the handouts and cancel all of the programs. Why? Why would you do that to people who need them? I wouldn’t do that to people who need them. Yet, I myself may need them, I pay for them, and I am not eligible.

The problem anyway with having a program for each and every economic dilemma that can come up for people in a communist country like America (oh yes it is, America is selectively communist) is that you have to factor in human nature. People abuse the system. They hide their income to become eligible. They falsify program applications. They even give birth to become eligible. In fact, that is one of the primary ways some obtain eligibility, they get pregnant. Then they stay on assistance long after they need it because they can. The programs are breeding grounds for the most socially parasitic behavior today and all of it is sanctioned by the government, a government that likes it, a government that wants to grow, a government that knows it can grow by fostering such behavior.

But what is worse, programs that offer free heat assistance, free medical, free cell phones, you name it, those programs drive the cost of those services up for everyone else because they create pre-determined costs for specific services and erase market competition. The assistance programs also add money into the market where it doesn’t exist in the market. Hence, the programs drive the cost of goods and services up, pricing people like me out of the market, people who pay their taxes, people who have served in the military yet still are ineligible, making the programs in a way, unethical.

I should be eligible for any program I have to pay for in taxes. That’s all there is to it. But that’s not the case. I’m suffering from a severe bout of the “Ineligibility-For-The-Government-Program-But-Can’t-Afford-It-On-The-Open-Market-Anyway-Syndrome.” There has to be a real name for it.

The system which is supposed to improve our health and standard of living is making me sick of it and sick of paying for it. And it is making me poor at the same time. That’s not right. That’s not what it is supposed to do. It’s wrong, wrong in an almost biblical sense.

It’s time to cut the entitlements. It’s time. And with another fiscal cliff approaching in less than sixty days, let’s get to it, like right now! Because you know what, I’m not alone.

Copyright © William Thien 2013

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