Four Thoughts on Government Assistance

Times are tough. No doubt about that. One of the most concerning statistics of our day is the number of families on federal assistance, numbers at record highs. If we were poor, would we take government assistance?

Cinderella Man

Boxer James Braddock took welfare to provide for his family. He also paid it back.

Good question. We were asked this by a mom of 6, last month. “What are your thoughts on government assistance such as food stamps, WIC, and medicaid insurance for families?”

Simple answer: We are poor, and we don’t take federal assistance.

Complex answer: We see federal assistance as a temptation that we fight. It isn’t like we couldn’t use it. Food is expensive–and so are many of the basics of life. There seems to be a government program for every necessity nowadays. When times are tight, having the government help may seem like an alternative worth taking. Maybe the only alternative.

But we have paused more than once on this thought. We have some downright convictions that keep us from taking assistance from government. Here are a few.

1. The money isn’t ours. We trace the money back to where it originated and ask, “Was this money freely given to help us?” We’ve taken secondhand clothes, gleaned food from farmers, and even direct gifts from friends. These are gifts, not handouts. We view federal programs differently. They’re subsidized by tax dollars. We cannot shake from our mind that the assistance we take was earned by other people’s work. It would haunt us. If we can help it, we won’t do it.

2. The money fosters dependency. Here’s the rub: Dependency on government is a trap. Ask most on welfare and they’ll agree: it’s an ugly cycle. It’s human nature to grow dependent on the faucet of dependency. Even if things do turn around financially for you, voluntarily cutting off your supply is difficult to do. Rather than starting, we resist it.

3. The giver really doesn’t care. Politicians are extending benefits, dumping tax payer money into programs. Perhaps some care, but we doubt most do. If they did, they would spend more effort revitalizing small business and energizing the workforce. Soaking the middle class to grow entitlements does the reverse.

A favorite movie of ours is Cinderella Man, a film depicting the story of boxing legend James Braddock who fought his way through the Great Depression. A telling scene is where Braddock takes welfare to keep his family together. He coupled it with returning to Madison Square Garden to beg his wealthy friends for help. He succeeds, keeps the heat on in his winter home, and gets through the financially hard time. Fortune eventually returns to his family. The shocker is this: When that fortune returns, he returns the money to the welfare office.

Braddock is a fighter, as is every parent fighting to raise their family in tough economic times. Perhaps good fortune will shine on us someday, but until then, we will live as independently from government assistance as we possibly can.

And here’s a final thought:

4. We know this tears people up. We thought long and hard about this mom’s question because we have dear friends who are caught in the cycle. They’re desperate, without employment, grasping to make ends meet. We can’t come out and say we would never take federal assistance. Perhaps we would if times got so bad. All we can confidently say is that we fight it with all we’ve got.

These are just a few thoughts. We’d like to hear yours in the comment section below.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Kathy Wooten

    How do you suggest one would “transition” from dependancy on programs such as food stamps, WIC, and medical insurance? It would be devastating to some families to just make the switch all at once and cut off these “benefits” cold turkey.
    I have struggled with this very issue, but have “justified” it in my mind as “we pay taxes too” and “i’m not a young unwed mom having many babies with many different partners” so it’s ok. Or is it? A very thought provoking article.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Kathy, these are very good questions! Quick answer to the taxes reasoning: We still can’t justify it. Our taxes feed the beast, and we just won’t participate in its fruit. On how to get out of it…we’ll give that some more thought and post again.

      • TomnLind1

        I am a born again Christian. I am a African-American male who grew up poor in the Ghettos of Kansas City. My mother dies when  I was 12 years old. Another sister I went to  lived with an older sister  when she was 22 years old. I was in Jr. high and my sister was in high school. We both received $55 dollars a month from our mother’s social security bennefits. We didn’t have a  welfare  check. We worked after school and in the summer. I was ashame to receive welfare because we were taught to work hard, get an education ,and be somebody.  I am 60 years old now with a Masters degree, 4 children with Master Degrees.  Now; for all those who have strong opinion against government help for those in need. Let me say this; “all of us enjoy something that someone else pays for.” Think about it. Perhasps if all the churches, businesses, wealthy, men and women who claim to be Christians  read; Matthew 25:  42-46. Government help is indicated back in the old Testament, even though it was not the form of government  we have today.  I work with the poor every day  at a non profit organization. The main argement I hear daily against wellfare comes from born again christians who spend billions on buildings, cars, jets, boats, conferences, and God knows what else. God Bleaas !  

  • http://jent-manyblessings.blogspot.com JenT

    I think the key word is assistance. It’s to help you get back on your feet when you have a hard time. It’s not a way of life. I think most people get on it and can’t get off. I mean, you can stop taking assistance, but they get so used to it and it’s just so easy. I know a family that has it and they are planning to stop taking it as soon as their income is higher. I also know a family that have been on it for so long that they are just too dependent on it. They just don’t see any other way. It is a hard choice to make; whether to take it or not.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Yep, you are articulating the “trap” aspect of it very well.

  • Abby

    I don’t really have a problem with governemnt assistance personally, but I do agree it can be a trap.
    I personally feel it’s another way that God provides – if not through gifts, then through a means that will save many families from potentially living on the streets. I don’t see it as any different then receiving bags of clothing or food, somebody has still had to pay the money to buy those items initially to then pass them on, and we pay taxes which partly go to help people. There’s always someone paying the full price at the end of it all.

    I am totally aware their are people who will take advantage :( I don’t think anyone likes that – but for the most if it will keep them and their kids from starving or being homeless when other means are not there I’m all for it.

    • Abby

      Oh and on a totaly separate note we tried that tea you guys recommended the other week – wonderful!

      • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

        Kombucha rocks! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      God provides through government redistribution? We have a tough time accepting that premise. Governments gained legitimacy through the Catholic Church through the Dark Ages, and this runs along the same line of reasoning. Taking from one to give to another…we can’t come to say that’s God’s way.

      • Abby

        I think we will always disagree on this one :) but I am very respectful of your views. I just think the aim is nothing more then to try and provide people with a better standard of living in hard times, it’s not a bad thing. There are countries without it and it’s not good.

        I certainly though believe it should be considered a last resort. Attitude has a lot do with it.

  • sara

    Hey guys! I totally respect and get your points on government assistance.

    I would like to know if there is anywhere in the Bible that talks about this issue?

    Personally, we do take about $100 a month in foodshare. My husband went to school for 12 years to be a pastor and makes what society would say as “poverty level” He has the education of a lawyer yet makes a pittance in comparison. and that is OK!!! :))) He never went into the ministry to be “rich” in greenbacks, yet I don’t think there could be a richer and more rewarding job.

    I stay home as you do Wendy. I guess I kinda feel like yes, we pay all these taxes..taxes to the state, taxes to the school district (which our kids receive none of these benefits as they do not go to the public school.)

    We do just fine without the assistance as well. Yes it can be challenging and we go without all the bells and whistles in life which I know you do too. :)) But I honestly feel like sometimes the government takes and takes and takes from us that if they are willing to share their wealth at time with honest caring hardworking families who just fall beyond the priority line in life (what “lower” looked upon job, sadly, as a pastor in our fallen world)then I am ok with taking it. The money we receive we look at as money of ours that we can use to glorify God in some other way. Funny how with the govt giving us an $100 a week, that we can actually give that much more a week to our Savior in offerings at church!!! I bet the government isn’t thinking of that with their handouts!!!! How much of that money is going back to Jesus.

    I do see your points and I think it’s great you have decided to not take their assistance in any way! God will truly bless the faithful!!! :)) Love in Jesus, Sara

  • sandra

    we never took it either,when my husb. was laid off.we ate out of the garden all summer,and drank just tea and water..it was good for us.
    we also never accepted paid school lunches during hard times,either.someone from my family would go down to the school and write a check for the whole month,and I would also pack their lunches a lot.I realize everone doesn’t have that kind of help,but that’s what worked for us.

  • sandra

    I also wonder if groceries would be cheaper if there were less federal assistance.as a highly-taxed middle class person,I feel the weight of that every time I go to the store,and I always leave thnking that I’m paying for my groceries and the person in front of me,too.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Yes, they would be cheaper. State taxes resources, the federal government taxes the store profits and even its payroll, all increasing the cost of every purchase.

  • April

    I understand what you are saying, and I never ever thought we would use state assistance, but we’ve had no choice. We have been hit hard by the economy and had hardly any income for over two years, and we have to eat. I believe that all money is GOD’S, and how He uses it to take care of me is not my business. This is the way HE is providing for us at this time. I look forward to getting off of it, but for now…this is where we’re at. I’m tired of derogatory comments toward it. (Not from you…just in general) Please pray for us that we can come to a better place soon!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Prayers for you, April. God bless your journey!

  • http://blessedacre.blogspot.com/ Michelle

    My former spouse refuses to support our four children adequately – every child support payment might as well be blood drawn from a gaping wound! – so when we accept food stamp assistance, I have to regard it as his shame, not mine. He does work, but has arranged his employment (with his new father-in-law) so that his wife makes almost triple what he makes, such that the state guidelines allow him to pay a pittance in support. Now, that said, I spent those food dollars as though I earned that money myself – I shop sales, stock up in advance, and also grow a huge garden, and raise rabbits and hens. So yes, it helps us, and though I’d prefer that my children’s father support them directly, he and his wife pay taxes, and I see this as a forced redistribution from them.

  • A Mom

    I understand where you are coming from. I think if both the husband and wife have a conviction to not take assistance from the government, and they pray to God, that HE will make a way. Problem is, what if both parties do not share the conviction? Or the husband doesn’t care about if the family has enough to eat? Or a family with a child with a special diet and huge medical bills? Sometimes we have to do what we don’t want to do. God often allows us to go through situations we don’t want to be in to stretch and grow us. Food stamps can be that situation. Who wants to fill out forms with personal information?

    In the big picture, let’s say the government gives food assistance to a family, and the mom stays home with the children. If the family ends up raising well adjusted children that grow up to be responsible adults, that money spent on food was a real bargain for the USA. Now you have responsible adults working and paying taxes; they are not being a drain on the system with counseling, continued assistance in their life. It is important to keep mom home with the kids! I would rather have the government help with food for a family that mom is home homeschooling the children and being responsible than for mom to go get a job, put the kids in public school, and then have to have society deal with the fall out of children raised with their best interests last. Some public assistance help for food is a bargain for the usa! I would think the cost of one child in public school would far exceed the cost of some food stamps for the family! Also, the government gives money for day care costs for moms to work and nothing for stay at home moms.

    I think a lot of this has to do with the attitude of the family. If they reluctantly take it, and do the best with it they can that’s great. If circumstances change, and they can get off of it, wonderful! If you look at this as “the government owes it to me”, then that’s the wrong attitude. The problem becomes when people look to government to solve all their problems.

  • Hattie

    Great post! Through the years we have struggled back and forth in this regard as well. It never occured to us that it was someone else’s money. That really strikes a chord with me. We mostly avoided gov’t assistance because we really didn’t want the government in our business. As to needing it in hard times- I am reminded of a biography I read about George Mueller. He started orphanages in Germany on prayer alone. Any time the homes/school needed anything he prayed. They never told any person directly the need but prayed instead. He recorded over 250,000 answers to prayer. One such prayer was sitting everyone down do dinner (that they didn’t have) and thanking God for His provision- not knowing whether they would have dinner or not. Just after he closed with Amen someone knocked on the door who had a wagon full of food for them. God is no different today!

  • Angela

    My parents live entirely on the government. My mom collected unemployment for 2yrs and now gets social security. Her 21yo son gets SS as well. My step-dad gets disability checks. The both of them get angry when the checks don’t arrive on time. When mom was unemployed she had no motivation to find employment because any job she worked would never pay her as much as unemployment paid. My step-father is far from disabled. They recently did a road trip halfway across the country. And there’s no telling them otherwise.

  • Jennifer Mull

    I appreciate your thoughts on this because this is very relevant to my life right now. I have 8 kids, 2 of which are away in college. One receives some financial aid through a Pell grant, but they both also have trust funds that the Lord provided through their grandparents. So, we have 6 kids at home ranging from the ages of 20 mons. to 15yrs. We homeschool and have been on one income for over 15 years now. My husband who is an architect was laid off a little over a year ago. We have resisted government assistance up to this point. It hasn’t been easy. His current temp job is ending soon, unless he gets approval to stay on a couple more months. We are praying for this. We haven’t had health insurance for the past year, but we haven’t had much in the way of medical bills, which is amazing since the three prior years were filled with pregnancies, a miscarriage, my husband’s bowel obstruction, and my son’s benign tumor which was removed from his skull… we had HUGE bills that our insurance covered during that time. Yet, this past year, very little sickness or need for medical attention. Each time I think we need to get food stamps, the Lord blesses use in some way. Just a couple days ago, my husband went to the grocery store and spent the last of what we had in our checking account on not very much food. We were trying to figure out how to make it work, and it was getting scary. The next day, my kids spotted some friends of ours in our front yard… they were leaving groceries they bought for us on our front porch! They left 14 bags of groceries plus a couple gallons milk and apple juice. I can’t tell you how this blessed us! Truthfully, I don’t know if we can continue to resist the government programs, but I am always wondering if I get set up for welfare, will I still see the amazing things the Lord has been doing this past year to provide for us? I know He is faithful and His mercy and provision and love is not linked to my own actions. In fact, I feel like I’ve been a poor steward who has been very overwhelmed with these challenges…. yet He continues to bless… I want Him to be glorified whether I am on food stamps or not. But, I can say that I am enjoying seeing how He proves His Faithfulness each and every day…. giving us manna for the next day… not for the next month or year, but for the next day. It is not an easy thing to walk out. If my husband loses his job at the end of the month and can’t find more work, then we may have no choice. His unemployment is almost gone and it doesn’t cover enough anyway. I want to say also that I am proud of the way my husband has worked through this past year…. he even took a job cleaning apartments and fixing toilets, etc. just to provide for his family. He did whatever he had to, and will again this year. God blessed that effort immensely. So, I know that if the Lord allows us to go on assistance, it will be in order to learn something more about humility that we haven’t already learned. But, we will do what we can to resist it… and to get off it! I appreciate your article so much because I struggle to explain these convictions to friends…. everyone wants us to get on WIC and food stamps, believers and unbelievers. I just want to make sure we are following the Lord’s leading.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Jennifer, your faith is encouraging! We, too, have found blessings through food in lots of ways.

  • Amber A

    I think I might be that “mom of 6” that asked this question. Thank you for posting about it, this is needed right now for so many. BTW #7 will be here this summer! :) Don’t know how we are paying for that yet. Our other kids had to go on Medicaid when My husband was falsly fired from work 8 yrs ago, we have never been able to get them off of it. I have used medicaid to help pay for 4 births, I have been on WIC at one time and this past fall we had to get on food stamps. I have one thing to say, ‘I HATE IT!!!’ I feel like we are NOT trusting God to provide. We made some bad financial choices last year and were unable to pay our tithes like we should have. I feel like God has walked us through a major life change because of it, not punishment but correction. Being on food stamps has been humbling and has set us up to get off and never be in this place again. This Year we are doing it different, I have been praying about all of it, the food stamps, the medicaid, I want off all of it. God ahs blessed us with health we only go to the dr when they make us (yearly checkups) or I am pregnant, which has been 5 times in the last 5 years lol. Chris and Wendy you have been a great encouragement to me! to my family! I am tired of the excuses it is time for a change, one for the better. Trust in God is better than feeling the condemnation that not trusting Him has braught. Thank you!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      This is an awesome testimony, Amber! Let us know how this goes. You will likely feel the crunch at first, but you will make it. God takes care of His people.

  • J.Barnett

    I am glad to say we are coming off of Food Stamps this week as my DH has been blessed with a job after almost one year of being unemployed due to the economy. I also lost my at-home job last year. It is a good feeling to be off of it. I’ve learned to cook more frugally than ever before this past year because I had to.

    It is interesting to note that the Google Ad in the sidebar as I read this post about government assistance is an ad for “Free Government Supported Phones 250 Free Monthly Minutes at safelink.com”. I have read on several blogs where they have taken down Google Ads because the content was counter to the message of the blog.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Google ads can be a pain. A couple weeks ago we posted on looking “ahead to the future” and a bunch of psychic ads popped up. A friend emailed his concern. I replied, “Click on it…it costs the psychic a dime and I make a nickel!”

      Nonetheless, I am in the process of finding a better solution. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Beth

    One problem with the idea that it is okay to take government assistance because we all pay taxes is the fact that those who make so little as to qualify for government assistance will likely get all of those taxes back in the form of a tax refund. Right?

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Exactly. It’s redistribution any which way you cut it. Redistribution, that is, minus the bloated bureaucracy it takes to run it all.

  • http://www.wicwoes.com lynn woes

    EXCELLENT thoughts! Our family uses government assistance so I obviously don’t 100% agree with you but you stated your thoughts on the matter so clearly. You bring up some excellent points as well. If you don’t mind I would love to put up a blog post on my blog about you all and a link to this post.

    And just food for thought you point out the money wasn’t freely given to you- I wish the taxes I paid didn’t go towards the type of public education that is often offered in schools today. Should families avoid sending their children to public school because not everyone who is paying for public school with their property taxes wants to fund the type of public education that is being offered?

  • Brooke

    Hello.. We have Centrelink over here in Australia .. carious kinds of assistance.. single parent pensions, austudy, abstudy, old aged pension, disability pension, carers pension, youth allowance just to name a few so we hand out a lot of govt assistance also. The food stamps u talk about, not to sound naive but what are they. Do you get vouchers from the govt or wlefare organisations. I know over here we can go to the Salvation army or St vincent de paul and get vouchers for our electricity gas and some food. We dont get any assistance on phones though from what i have been told cause that is not a nesissity its a luxury item.. Is your system similar to ours.. Brooke

  • T. Gates

    I do have a problem with those of us that are still young enough to work taking assistance from the government just because they don’t want to work. I don’t have a problem with the government helping the eldery like my grandmother survive these tough times. Having lived through the Great Depression, there was not extra for people like her to save for the future. Now that they’re retired, they have to have some way to survive with the cost of everything going up. I’m very glad to see tax dollars that my family pays in going to help those that really can’t help themselves. For me to take it when I’m able to work would be taking it from those who aren’t.

  • Sara

    I guess I am glad it is there for those people who truly need it and for those who don’t, are lazy, have kid after kid out of wedlock, etc? Well, let that be on their conscience and take that up with the Lord when the proper time comes. God provides when we trust in Him. Assistance or not. Just like so many other areas of life which are not forbidden by the Lord.

  • Sara

    We are a large, homeschooling, single-income family, and my husband is a car salesman. Needless to say, during these economic times we qualify for quite a few government benefits. By careful planning, past and present, and blessing from the Lord, we have not needed to use any of them. Sometimes this really hurts because the money saved would be a lot, but I know it’s not God’s will for us. The main question I had is what about all these tax credits, such as the child tax credit, earned income credit, and making work pay tax credit. When they started, they just reduced our tax bill. Then as they were increased and we had more children, we started to get some back. This did not bother us, however, because we paid more than this in social security, state and local taxes. But the last 2 or 3 years, we’re getting back 7 or 8 thousand dollars, and I doubt we’re paying that much in other taxes. It’s difficult to know where to draw the line or even if we should. For example, should we also stop using our dependent exemptions? This reduces our taxes because of our family size. And should we always pay at the highest tax bracket instead of taking advantage of the low brackets because of our low income? You see how difficult it is. What do you think?

  • http://www.LargeFamiliesOnPurpose.blogspot.com Bob

    Thanks for this post Chris/Wendy.

    I think something that has been overlooked here is the government intrusion that occurs when a family begins to accept assistance from the government.Im sure all states differ on their policies and opinions but, here in Washington State the government sees it as their duty to know what is happening in the home of a family that it is supporting. This can be very minor and benign all the way up to requiring that the children have physicals and are interviewed about how they are treated etc. I do think I need to elaborate on the potential issues of being a religious, homeschooling family and being under the scrutiny of a social worker from the state.

    When you accept “assistance” you surrender your sovereignty to the secular state which I see as a problem for anyone who has already surrendered it to THE true authority. We all need assistance from time to time, the question is, who do you run to and will you allow the assistance to take the form of something other than a check in the mail.

    I have been fully employed and even been working overtime steady for nearly my entire life until recently the owner of the small business I work for lost his focus and created a three week and growing hole in our work schedule. I only mention this to head off anyone who might have thought I was getting a little preachy from the house on the hill. We have a deep pantry, a little savings, with any luck an income tax return and a great family and church body that I pray will keep us until I am working again. In the mean time I am enjoying every waking moment with my wife and children, doing somethings that we have only talk about doing for lack of time and getting closer to our Lord in the absence of a mans biggest spiritual distraction, work.

    Thanks again for the topic and God’s blessings to all with a little extra to those who need the most.

    • Chris & Wendy

      Good point, Bob. This is something we overlook because, well, we aren’t on government assistance. Freedom from government is a good thing!

  • KSJ

    This is a very interesting subject and I totally agree with you. There was a point where I was on WIC. We were in the military and we couldn’t make ends meet. We were on it for about two years and it was amazing how many times I wanted to stop getting it and the people at the place I had to pick up my checks would tell me that it was a horrible idea to get off of them. They would say “If you qualify then why not take the money?” Well, there are a lot of reasons why not and I eventually saw them thankfully.

    Also I have many friends that are barely making ends meet right now, and they aren’t going to accept any assistance unless it comes from friends and family. But they have said many times that if they didn’t have to pay so much in taxes they would be able to make ends meet with no problem. I have heard others say that if they didn’t have to pay so many taxes they would be more apt to help people out monetarily, but they already feel as though they are helping enough through their taxes. Anyways, I thought I’d add my two cents.

  • TWoP_Fan

    If people are leaving food on your doorstep, you are still using someone else’s money to provide for your children. The fact that they are doing it out of their own generosity doesn’t change the fact that you are using ‘assistance’, it’s just not from the government.

    Also, you pay taxes. If you have to use unemployment or WIC or whatever, you have already contributed to it, therefore it’s not other people’s money. It’s still yours. If you don’t ever use it, consider it paying forward a generous donation to another family that may not be as blessed as yours.

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  • Anonymous

    All those kids yall missin out on on an extra 2 thousand a month! Don’t be proud, the bible talks about that too…times are only going to get harder. If nothing else get it and put it into a savings account! God blessed America so that we can help each other whether it is forced or not!

    • Anonymous

      You have to grapple with the points we made, especially numbers 1 and 2. (1) We’re “missing out” on taking OTHER PEOPLE’S money, not America’s money. (2) We don’t want to grow dependent on handouts.

      This isn’t a biblical issue on pride; it’s a biblical issue on trust. Will we grow dependent on the State or on God? The State certainly cares little for us (our point #3), but God loves us and provides for our needs.

      We choose the latter.

  • Jennifer H.

    I don’t have a problem with philosophical reasons for not taking assistance, what I have a problem with is American Christians thinking that they are sinning/others are sinning by taking it. And I think your sharing your story about not using government “benefits” encourages a lot of people to work harder to live within their means.

    However, we can’t have one standard for Christians in the UK, Canada, Sweden, Mexico, etc, where they have accepted socialized medicine and care as a “right” and another set of standards for American Christians, who are doing nothing different than accepting the same aid that Christians in other countries receive.

    I am still on the fence about whether or not it is a “trap.” I do see some areas in our culture who have made it a family tradition, but I also know a whole lot of people who “used to be” on WIC or food stamps, as well as a lot of people who “used to be” on unemployment benefits. The fact that I have run across so many now-unassisted families, leads me to wonder if it really is a trap after all. (For those of you who don’t see unemployment insurance as welfare, it is. Our company pays about $100 a year per employee for unemployment “insurance” that currently pays close to $300 a week, for up to 99 weeks???)

    Also, if you look at areas of redistribution of wealth through taxation, it seems the most grievous issues are Social Security and Medicare, which cost our country an ASTRONOMICAL amount. Are those of you against your children receiving food stamps also against your parents taking Social Security and Medicaid? Do you pay for your parents’ bills, out of honor towards them, so they will not be on government aid? It seems like the other half of the elephant in the room….

  • Jennifer H.

    Another point, the Additional Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Credit are both forms of government redistribution through taxation.

    I know many families who would not dream of taking food stamps, but think nothing at all of getting a windfall of THOUSANDS of dollars as a tax “refund” each year, courtesy of fellow Americans.

  • Mom in MN

    If not for government help my family would not be where it is today.
    We don’t use and abuse the system at all but have a child that has medical issues and has needs beyond a “normal” child. The programs that help us have allowed me to stay home and provide all cares for her.
    WIC doesn’t provide a ton of food, as some may think. You get milk, eggs, cheese, peanut butter and cereal. And the absolute cutoff date is when the child is 5 but every year you get re-analyzed and could be cut off at any time. Without WIC I don’t know how I could’ve afforded to give my daughter the formula she needed as a baby (I was unable to produce breast milk) and think that it’s a wonderful program.

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  • hsmom24

    Our family has had strong convictions in the past against government assistance and we were always eligible for it but took pride in the fact that we did not use it. My husband worked hard, many hours a day at a very low paying job. I did odds and ends to help make ends meet, child care, helping a friend do office work from home, selling things on ebay. My husband became ill and was no longer able to work. I was pregnant at the time and also was not able to go out and get a job and the thought of leaving my children at that time caused great stress. I had home-schooled our children from the beginning and wanted to keep on doing that. We had tithed faithfully to our very small church and when we spoke with the pastor about our situation he advised us to seek health care through the government as we were uninsured. I think that would be very difficult for any church to provide a chronically ill person with healthcare, medication, tests, etc. for an ongoing period of time. We had mri bills that were $5,000. So we are very grateful for our health insurance through the government, is it ideal, no. My husband would give anything to be able to support his family once again. My husband was approved for social security disability pretty quickly but the wages we receive from that keep us below the poverty level. Receiving healthcare and some help with food has enabled me to be home with my children for the last several years and continue to home-school them. We are blessed with friends who also have really carried us through with many various gifts and we are so thankful to God for them too. It is very humbling being on the receiving end instead of on the giving end. This is not the life my husband or I would have chosen but we are thankful that we live in a country that has this available and we aren’t having to dig through garbage heaps for food as some do or beg on the streets. There are so many that fall through the cracks and aren’t able to get the help they desperately need for various reasons. I hope everyone who reads these comments and knows people in need do everything they can to help. A bag of groceries, a pack of diapers means more to some than you can ever imagine.

    • disqus_2sz4dN6Uxd

      How many kids are you home schooling? ——–

      The cost of public school in your city/state?——-

      ———X———=——- Do the math you might be a net savings for your commuity. You do work raising kids for our civilization. I pay taxes and you cost me nothing.

      The German Government pays people to have kids, it pays for college and our government pays for Germanys deffence thru NATO.
      Americans work harder than any other nation in yearly man hours and are the worst paid employees in the western world. The Best paid employees are also American the top 8%.

  • Wwplear

    It’s wise that you would never say never, but unfortunetly for some, the never became humility! It’s very humbling to go to a food bank, or even go and apply for these types of assistance. But on another note, it is very difficult to get off of it, unless you really want to! I appreciate your stance on your convictions…this is good, but it’s not good if your family is suffering unnecessarily becasue your tax dollars are what pays for this assistance. It would be great to know that our friends, church families and farmers could give out of there abundance….but sometimes thats not always so. I say go with your convictions, because its important that our concience is clean! God Bless!

  • Antonio

    Good for you, government assistance is only possible if the government steals the property of peaceful citizens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1031543545 Danielle Walker

    never say never…

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  • disqus_2sz4dN6Uxd

    If the government is stealing by taxing than why is it a sin to not pay taxes?

    By this reasoning you should not pay the government taxes becuase it uses that tax money to pay for abortions (killing babies.).

    So I have to pay Ceaseer taxes becuase he is apointed by God to punish evil doers (courts, police, military) and that is not stealing, but giving poor people food is stealing?

  • Karen

    I know this article is old, but I just wanted to thank you for it! It’s good to know we aren’t alone/crazy in our choice to refuse government assistance.

    We are a young family with very little income. We follow Dave Ramsey and stick to a strict budget. We ended up getting pregnant with our second child after my work (before I became a stay at home mom) health insurance expired. That left our entire family unable to get private health insurance (pregnancy is an automatic rejection!). Though we have natural births with a midwife and pay out of pocket, I was worried about the small chance if ending up with a c-section or a baby in the NICU. After much thought, we accepted government health care. BUT! We continued to pay dr all of our expenses out of pocket. Yes, it was painful, but we had decided to never use government assistance I there is any other option. (Talking to billing people in doctors offices was funny! They were flabbergasted!)

    As for food stamps and WIC, I am happy to say we have been able to avoid them entirely. We just got approved for private insurance, as our son was born in May, so no more Medicaid! Still, the thought if government assistance is tempting. It would “save” us hundreds of dollars a month…

    • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

      You are an inspiration!