Sep
26
2012

Government Assistance

Benefit Security Card

I’m having a very important discussion over at ChrisJeub.com. I think it’s one of the most important of our day. It has to do with government assistance, and I’m a little trepidatious about it. Can you give Wendy and me your feedback? Allow me to explain.

Here’s the thesis of the discussion I opened up last week:

Government assistance drains people of their dignity, robs them of their self-worth, and traps them in dependency.

Here’s where the problem is: there are personal stories of where government assistance appeared to rescue the individual. I’ve received negative feedback from a few people who were personally offended, and their narratives are eerily similar:

  1. I had a tragedy (lost a job, had an injury, etc.).
  2. I got on government assistance.
  3. Therefore, government assistance saved me from loss/doom/hardship/etc.

The conclusion – that government assistance was the savior – is bothersome. Over the years Wendy and I have been financially close to the edge many times, but we have stubbornly refused to get on welfare or any government assistance. Even medical injuries resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars have been solved without government aid.

Ultimately, we believe God will always take care of us, and He always has. In fact, we can point to many blessings that have come from financial hardship. We have been consistant on this message, but feel the need to speak up on it more. Put our testimony out there for the world to judge, much like we do about the blessing of children.

This message walks a fine line, and that gives me pause. I have to be critical of government assistance and the system of dependency it creates. That’s not too hard, really. But here’s the predicament: the criticism offends people who have submitted to the authority of the state. My attempt to free people of the bondage of dependency actually offends the one in chains.

This is my ultimate goal: freedom. Welfare takes away an individual’s freedom. Being off it is liberating. I think people who are caught in the welfare trap know this to be true, but they are encouraged to stay on and persuaded to think they need it. Or that the government came to their rescue when no one else would.

So, I’d really appreciate your feedback. If you have experience or a strong opinion, don’t let this discussion go by. Post below or email me personally. And read today’s ChrisJeub.com post. It is the beginning of a three-part series from one person who replied for help. Your input may help someone get off food stamps…and that’s a good thing.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PamelaRoy Pamela Roy

    This is a tricky subject. My husband had a massive heart attack with cardiac arrest July 13 which resulted in a quadruple bypass surgery. He is still recovering and still not working. We qualified for food stamps and they are helping our large family eat. We have been helped by many people and our church and we see each blessing a gift from God. I view it as this:

    We had a near tragedy (Every doctor has said my husband is a true miracle. He should have died July 13th but God has another purpose for him).We have applied for food stamps and SSDI.
    Therefore, God has blessed us with our food stamp benefits and the help we have received from our local church and family and friends. I don’t see the government as our savior at all. God is our Savior and we are so thankful that my husband is still alive and with us. This is financially devastating our family, yet every bill has been paid so far. My big worry is October and November, with our rent and utilities. Please pray for us. My husband may go back to work in November, depending on this infection he has at the moment and his echo cardiogram. Even if he does go back, it is unclear if he can physically still do his job because it is so physically demanding. We are seeking God’s will and Divine wisdom in showing us what we should do next. What type of job my husband should have and for me too, as soon as our youngest two children graduate in May. Thanks!

    • Chrissy

      Chris- While I agree with what your saying- I also want to say that we look at this as God’s provision for our family and He is our Savior….
      … Here is my story..
      My husband has been laid off a few times since 2006.. either due to the economy or his health. UE has been helpful when we are on it but it does not last…
      Food stamps….. something that we believe God has used to help feed our family along with like Pam.. also help from church/family and friends…
      Before going on this when my husband was laid off the 1st time… it was a struggle and we had 2 very godly people remind us that God provides in many ways for His people….
      And God is the one that meets every need that our family has… and I know that He chooses how for each individual and families….
      My husband is now in the middle of his 1st year of doing his own business because of his serious health issues. cannot work a full time job outside of the home any more…
      So can people become dependant on this.. sure…but thats not where we are at with getting assistance. On my side- things are not always what they seem in these situations….
      Each time we recertify it becomes more difficult.. and we know that if God chooses to stop it then He will use other means…
      But we truly believe He is using it to provide for us…

      Each time we are unsure of what He will do… but we are trusting Him at every turn

      And because someone is on assistance … do we know the story behind it??

      I am glad that your family has not needed this assistance…

      God works in each family differently and only He knows what is necessary for each of us as He works in our lives….

      Thanks so much

  • Country Mom

    I agree it is a tough subject. We are on food stamps but I sure don’t want to be. I have had some tough choices to make. My husband has not always been working as hard as he could. Yes, I could have gone and gotten a job BUT then I put 4 children in the public school system instead of homeschooling them. I then would be bringing home the money and it would change the dynamics between my husband and myself. There would be no incentive for him to work hard since I went out and was doing it. I felt like I was costing the taxpayers more money by the kids going to public school. Also, it opened up another whole can of worms sending them there and trying to work and take care of all the house stuff. I get no help from DH with any of that. I honestly didn’t know if I could handle it all and not have a nervous breakdown, health issues, etc.
    So I have stayed home, home schooled the children, and am raising well adjusted hard working kids. My 2 sons, ages 17 and 15, are on their second year of their own business. They have worked hard when their dad hasn’t. Now dad is finally trying to work harder. I guess a few years of being broke, and me saying “we just can’t afford to buy that at the store” when he wanted certain treats might actually be working!
    I keep praying for the Lord to bless my husband financially so we can get off them. When I went and got them, there was hardly anything here to eat. I talked to my DH as is the right thing, and he just told me to go talk to His mom and raid her house for food. Really? I decided that food stamps would be much better. They wouldn’t have wanted to help us and would have been very nasty about it. I have never told anyone we get food stamps. My oldest daughter who is 27 knows, and my daughter who is 19 knows, and the one lady at church who fills out the part of the gov’t paperwork for me. Me and my dh know. I just NEVER tell anyone no matter what. Right now I am trying to feed my family on $359 a month. That is 4 children from 11 to 19, and 2 adults. Raising chickens and we shot and butchered ourselves 5 deer last year. my 2 sons got the 5 deer and we processed them ourselves at the kitchen table. raised a pig last year. have a garden but it didn’t do as well as it could with the drought. I try to sell a few things online to make some more $$ but it isn’t a lot. So I am trying to help myself but the food stamp money REALLY helps here. I just buy basic stuff and too many “fun foods.” I would LOVE for my husband to be responsible—work 2 jobs if he had to, do whatever he needed for our family. But I can’t make him be responsible and hard working. I can only do my part and pray and work hard here. I cook ALL the time. He barely gives me any $$ for toilet paper, laundry soap, etc. I am just doing the best I can. I would LOVE to just have a grocery budget to work with and go pay CASH for groceries. It’s not fun at all being on food stamps. :(

    • Andrea

      Many prayers, my heart goes out to you. It would be nice to know how to handle it when your husband is not on the same page.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=633199082 Chrissy Smith Gunning

      Being on FS is very hard….. I totally agree with you, Country mom.
      My husband has a hard time too,,,, I would love to be off and at the same time we get what we need, And as you know.. as food prices go they don’t spread as far as they use too esp when you have several children…
      My husband has worked VERY hard over the last 30 plus years of his life. Now he has his own business that is slowly working out well but we don;t have weekly paychecks but we know this is where God wants him…
      Again… no one knows how God chooses to work in other families lives….

      So do we want to be on it… no… but there is not alot of $ coming in right now…

      My only choice is to TRUST Him completely and allow Him to work in what ever ways He chooses…. and its not up to me or anyone else to say how He will do it….

      Phil 4:19- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
      Thats all it says…..God is not confined by our human boxes…. He is not limited to time or space. I am glad!!!

  • Amy Wingfield

    Chris, I want to ask you a simple question……..if God blesses you with #17 and you find yourself in a situation like The Duggars where the baby needed hospitalization and NICU and the amount would cause to go bankrupt, or let’s say a child need a life saving surgery and you qualified for Medicaid, would you accept, knowing in your heart that this was God’s way of providing for you?? I understand there are those who take advantage of the system, yes, but as you said God provides for His children….. I believe sometimes i the form of temporary assistance…… think about it., I will post this question as well on my facebook and blog…. follow
    http://calledtobemomma.blogspot.com/

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

      Well, I have a solution for the hypothetical already: Samaritan Ministries. We’ve been members since 2004, and this last year has been devastating much like you describe, though not with an infant. I wouldn’t go on medicaid because I already have an alternative.

      But I hear you. Better question: “Could government assistance be God’s tool for doing his work?”

      I don’t get myself worked up about answering. I don’t want to speak for God. Which is using the Lord’s name in vain: Saying the Lord provided through something that is doubtfully his work, or saying that the Lord would never use government to do his work? Probably both.

      Deep thought. For me, I can’t say that I’d NEVER take government assistance, but I am somewhat repelled by the comments that say “God used government assistance to help me.” That line feeds the beast of the system, a system that traps people in a cycle of dependency and poverty. I don’t see much blessing come from it, and I judge by its fruits.

      • OhGr8NowWhat

        For those with significant health needs, Samaritan Ministries does not work. SM will not take those with a genetic defect (too much strain on their system), SM can choose not to take your submission for help and SM can drop you if they feel you are too much of a burden to their system. This is not an answer or even a viable option for some.

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

          Not sure where you’re getting your information, but we have not found this to be true. We’ve dealt with SM for years, and the followthrough is impeccable.

          Besides, you are citing situations that are no different than any insurance company out there.

          • OhGr8NowWhat

            I spoke with the company myself to see if this would be an option for our family. My self and my children have medical issues. I can see that you have not have dealt with this since you have a healthy family that does not regularly need medical intervention.

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

              Your situation is too bad, but SM is not obligated to take on your situation. This does not mean SM “does not work,” so that’s an exaggeration.

              • OhGr8NowWhat

                I did not say that SM does not work. I said it did not work for those with significant health needs.

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

                Right. They don’t cover preexisting conditions, just like EVERY insurance plan in the world. To claim that as a fault of theirs is awkward. I’m sorry for your story, but your offense on Samaritan Ministries isn’t fair.

              • OhGr8NowWhat

                My point exactly. SM does not cover our situation. Most insurance companies do not cover our situation. Guess who DOES cover our situation… state medical.

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

                Okay, I get you. The STATE covers you. A little more accurately: taxpayers. Your neighbors cover your situation.

                Look, Samaritan is an excellent alternative to the government system, and you shouldn’t dis’ it.

              • OhGr8NowWhat

                I am not dis’ing SM. I am also not claiming this as a fault. I am just stating fact. It is not a solution for everyone.

              • OhGr8NowWhat

                I am incredibly grateful to the taxpayers of this nation who help cover the medical needs of my child that no one else would help with or cover. Because of this assistance, my child is ALIVE. I have experienced first hand the gut wrenching difficulty of holding my dying child. CHP+ or Medicaid has offered the life saving medications and medical care they need to live. Through this assistance my child is now able to not only live but THRIVE and now has hope of a future. One thing to keep in mind is that even with this assistance, there is MUCH they still do not cover.

                My child is alive right now. God is using my child in a significant way to show His love to others around them. My child has experienced more in their short life than most cannot even imagine to experience in a lifetime. I praise God my child is still with us and am forever grateful for the help of the taxpayers to make this happen.

              • Violet

                Not in the world, in America. They are different. As well as universaly health care, my diabetic father has full health insurance.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=633199082 Chrissy Smith Gunning

        I guess it just comes down to that no one can say how God works in the lives of other families and the only One that knows is Him…. To say He isn’t using it would not be fair if people are not in my situation..

        So a question would be… what about Social Security??? That is gov’t assistance for the majority of our nation when they reach retirement and for those who are disabled early in life, When my dad had his very life changing stroke in 1995 where he needed 24 hr medical care, was wheel chair/bed bound.. in/out of the hospital, that SS along with his short/long term disability from work is what was used to take care of all those medical bills from hospitals and longterm care facilities he was in until he went home to be with the Lord in July 2010. So should my mom have had to pay over thousands of $ instead of allowing God to use these avenues??

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

          This is a thoughtful comment. Of the dozens of programs reaching over 100 million people in the country, they all create dependency, but at different levels. There are things like food stamps that are the most egregious, but on the other side of the spectrum are contracts with government that have been paid into (social security and unemployment, for instance). They are sort of like forced contracts — put upon us without our choice, but put upon us nonetheless. I’d commend the purist who refuses even these entitlements, but I find it difficult to criticize the one who doesn’t.

          Come to think of it, this is why I like the idea of privatized social security. Privatized insurance would be much better than government insurance. Paul Ryan has been an advocate for this since he entered politics.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_256424ZCOANQ62QEMCOKFMLCIA First NameS

    I wish I had the faith you have. I don’t believe that God takes care of all. Otherwise, why are there so many tragic situations with starving people and everything else?

  • Heather Anderson

    You are brave to tackle this subject, especially in a culture where so many are on state assistance in one form or another. We have been tottering on the edge many times, including now. We are close to losing our house, owe some medical bills etc. We have not accepted state help and by God’s grace will not. That is not to puff me up. I have great compassion for those that have had to make tough choices. Like you, I do believe that for the most part, gov’t assistance is a trap, or a Trojan Horse of sorts. It is an open door for more and more state interference. This country was once full of family, community and voluntary support. These are now all but gone. Where people once pulled together to help one another in difficult times, the government steps in. Because of this, we have to pay more and more taxes, which perpetuates the cycle, as we have fewer and fewer dollars to VOLUNTARILY help others with. I applaud you for addressing a difficult issue. But I would add that it ought to be done with genuine empathy. I followed the comments on your topic of poverty (also a difficult subject). If I have any criticism of how it was handled it would be a lack, or seeming lack, of real empathy for those who have suffered far beyond our imagination, not the principles involved.

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

      Thank you so much for posting, Heather. This is a difficult topic that more people need to understand, and it helps to hear when people do. My empathy is deeper than you might think.

    • A.Roddy

      That is because the country was once full of jobs and people could actually survive. Some of us have no or very little family members to get help from. With more people out of work out of work and struggling themselves , community help is less and less. The food stamps and welfare thing reminds me of the drowning man story. To make a long story short, a drowning man cried’Lord save me”.”.A plane, boat, and helicopter came by but he said’No I am waiting on the Lord.” When he went to heaven he asked the Lord ‘why didn’t you save me.’ The Lord replied ” I sent you a plane, helicopter, and boat and you took neither.”

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

        Thanks for posting. I’ve heard this story before, but the point of my article is that it is NOT a helicopter or boat being provided by the government. It is a cement block. It is not helping the people it claims to help, and those trapped in dependency would be best advised to throw off their burden as soon as they are able.

        And I’d caution: Using the Lord’s name to convince others that burdens are okay is, I believe, cruel. It’s akin to telling a slave that their slavery is the Lord’s will.

  • anonymous

    Jeub family any pregnancy news ? may god bless your family.

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

      Nothing today.

  • someone in FL

    I thought I would share some of my opinion on this issue. I remember years back my family was doing well. We owned a nice home, had a nice job, nice new vehicles, etc… I gave my opinion about those “poor” people who really didn’t understand about fully trusting God with their money and their family size. I would look at those and yes, JUDGE that they had little faith and didn’t fully trust in God to provide. Fast forward 8 years and now find myself in the same predicament. I hate to admit it but yes we have become those who had to ask for assistance. Does this mean that we are of little faith or not trusting God? Maybe….maybe not. One thing that I have learned is NOT to judge any brother and sister. You never know what the future holds. Just as Jesus says….judge not lest you be judged.

    I also look at this subject like taking medicine. There are Christians who are hard core believers that God heals without medicine so no need to take the inhalers or diabetic medications. Then there are those who choose to take the medicine. Does this make them of lesser faith? Or not trusting God? Again…Maybe or maybe not. Or is it pride?

    Walking in faith is hard. We are each running our own race and never to compare ourselves to anyone but Christ. Life is hard and we never know how we will react until we are faced with such a predicament. I never thought we would be in such a predicament. But when the storms come…..it is hard. And Yes…he does provide!

    I am thankful to have food on my table and thankful that our family finances have doubled and will be off assistance. I am thankful that He has given us a FREE van for our growing family. I am thankful that I have learned not to judge and now can relate to a world who is crying out to know the Lord Jesus.

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

      Hmm. Thoughtful comment.
      Here’s another thought: liken this subject to BAD medicine. The results are awful – poverty, entitlement mentality, dependency, etc. – but we continue to take the meds. It’s tough to see God’s hand in that.

      • someone in FL

        What entitlement? Dependency? You obviously have never been in this situation. I don’t feel entitled. And I am not dependent. I hate using assistance. I hate government insurance. It sucks! I never shop with all my kids in tow because I don’t want the cashiers to talk behind my back saying I shouldn’t be having all those kids if I can’t feed them! It really does suck Mr. Jeub! Have some compassion. And God forbid you are ever in such predicament. It sucks!

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

          I don’t think you know me very well. “It sucks.” Have you even read the article that started this discussion? Prepare…You may find yourself agreeing with me: Government Assistance Sucks.

          • someone in FL

            No, I didn’t read it before I commented. Sorry about that. I do agree to a point with you but you come off to be uncaring not helpful. Sorry about that too. All I have to say is more power to you!

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

              Funny, you came across the same way. I’m about as lovable as you can imagine…and I care deeply for people who are entrapped by a system that cares little for them. Follow the discussion at chrisjeub.com…there’s more to come.

  • E Sargent

    I don’t think it’s ever been the job of the government to take care of the poor on a large scale. The Church, family, and neighbors, as one comment mentioned, are the most ideal places to get needed money, food, care, and support. It is biblically God’s plan. However, if the Church forsakes the care of others, then somebody bigger has to step in, and the way I see it, it’s a cycle. If the government needs or wants to step in, then the Church, and the family and the neighbors don’t have to concern themselves with the burdens. The more the government ‘helps’ , the less anybody else has to worry about it. It has become, in my estimation, a system where many older people are left in homes away from family, and many struggling to make ends meet are just supposed to get government help. In a perfect world we would all bear one another’s burdens. But when we don’t, those struggling usually have to go somewhere else. This very post has convicted me again to bring to mind any in need and get in there and be Christ to them. It starts with us.

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

      Yep, you’re right. It does start with us. The man in the mirror.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alida-Fiametta-Rodriguez/1599690634 Alida Fiametta Rodriguez

    I have always worked hard. I am foster alumni and would single handedly work many hours each week, pay rent ( from age 17) go to school till late, rise early work long hours, study all on my own. My husband has always been hard working. We looked down on our many relatives on welfare. I remember quite cockily stating that if I could pull myself up by my boot straps and be hardworking independent without family to help than anyone could. I worked even while having children as an apartment manger earning rent and allowing me to stay home until our family size prohibited that. I remember making the statement that I was going to get the bumper sticker ” keep working hard, there are millions on welfare depending on you.” I admit, I was a bit prideful and condescending to those I felt could do better but just didn’t. Then my husband lost his job as the economy hit the tank. My toddler son got REALLY sick, (aplastic anemia) we lost our insurance. I’ll never forget being signed up and waiting for two hours for my son to receive treatment ( a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, with bruising all over his face from lack of blood and platelets and them telling me we were no longer insured. They wouldn’t take him unless we signed up for state insurance. I did. It took a long time, almost two months to get the needed procedure. They told me “Just bring him into the ER if he begins to hemorrhage.” It was super humbling but it was the way the Lord provided. Our savings was spent. None of the jobs he applied for called us back. My husband went to a church we attended for YEARS to ask for their job listing and was told since we were no longer members they couldn’t help us. We prayed alot. Sometimes the Lord provided through anonymous checks, sometimes he didnt. When we got to where we weren’t eating ANYTHING nutritious (yet I was trying to heal my son nutritionally, we’d ration the green smoothies and fruits for only him) we signed up to received food aid. Sometimes folks helped us with groceries, but it wasn’t consistent. He is working now. We spend alot of time volunteering and donating. We did that even during our journey of affliction. Whatever we had we shared with those worse off. Now we are helping others and self sufficient. It’s easy to say have more faith, the Lord will provide. Sometimes He uses people, sometimes it’s government assistance. My opinion on the poor has certainly changed on the subject, that’s for certain.

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

      It’s quite clear now that your trial has made you and your family better people. Thank you for posting, Alida.

  • Steve Orris

    There’s an old saying,
    “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.
    Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.”

    Cute saying. Doesn’t always apply.

    Let’s say I already know how to fish but someone stole my fishing pole. Having the ability to make money and having the opportunity are two different things.

    I’ll make a long story short. I was laid off through no fault of my own for 8 months before we applied for assistance. I didn’t want to take it. But circumstances were such that my family was starting to suffer needlessly. I am grateful every month for the help we get. I always see it as temporary. I am now self employed. I have taken steps to increase my income but it hasn’t reached the amount yet where I can walk away from the assistance the government offers. I want that day to come soon.

    The help appears to come from the government, but ultimately it comes from God. So does your job. God gives you the health, strength, ability and opportunity to work at a job. God can provide in different ways at different times for different people. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes you have no right to judge the character or motive of his heart.

    “Government assistance drains people of their dignity, robs them of their self-worth, and traps them in dependency.”

    Really? I could say the same thing about some JOBs I’ve had.

    In a perfect world the church would offer the temporary help people need so that God would get more of the glory instead of the government. That day may be here soon by the looks of things. Until then, thank God for everything you have, be as generous as possible with those less fortunate, and resist the urge to “fix” people. Maybe they are on their way to get a new fishing pole but it is taking them longer than their last meal will carry them.

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

      Very well written piece. Thanks for putting in the time, Steve. I’d argue that old saying about teaching a man to fish is spot on. Another saying, “I’d rather be fishing” … rather than trying to explain self-reliance to some who insist on justifying dependency. Believe me, it’s frustrating when people don’t get it, but I see no alternative. If you don’t reject the lure of dependency, freedom and self-reliance becomes all the more difficult.

      Doesn’t it give you pause when you claim God’s hand is in on government dependency? I see nearly 1/2 of America caught in a trap. I see it as a national disgrace, not compassion. I honestly desire for those who are trapped to be free. Are you quite certain God agrees with you? Or is this just playing the God card because all rational explanations have been exhausted? Frankly, I don’t see the fruits of heaven in our entitlement society; I see enslavement.

      Andrea and Adam are taking their first steps toward self-reliance. Their story is published today at http://www.chrisjeub.com. They’re so full of hope right now, like kids on their way to the lake, dreaming of catching the big kahuna. I’d like to think God’s hand is in on it. It’s optimistic and exciting and unstoppable.

      • someone in FL

        Mr Jeub,

        How does your “opinion” help any brother or sister in Christ better their situation? All it does is push them away from the way you believe? How do your judgements help those who are weaker or don’t have a fishing pole? It truly feels like being kicked over and over again when you are barely trying to breathe. It hurts.

        You may say that you can relate because you have been close to the same situation. You see…..those who are quick to judge or give their opinions, truly don’t have the compassion of the Lord and haven’t been in the same situation. It’s like trying to understand the pain and hurt a family is feeling after losing a baby. How can I even fathom the hurt a family has gone through when I haven’t even been close to such an experience. I can’t even begin to relate.

        It is hard to go from a six figure income to homelessness. It is very humbling having to depend on elderly parents to feed and shelter a growing family. This begins to hurt their financial situation as well. We coud go to our church family? Yes…the church will help for so long until they start to see you as a “burden” of sorts. Then they are quick to give their “opinion” asking and saying “Why did you have so many children if you can’t feed them?” or “You need to put them in school not homeschool.” or “How about your wife….she’s a collage graduate why doesn’t she work?”

        What is there to do Mr. Jeub? It is humbling to take assistance but does this mean we really want to be on government assistance? It is a short term solution when all you have to eat are Ramen noodles and the kids keep asking for more. It hurts.

        In our situation, we had to put an end to bearing more children. Why?? Because we couldn’t feed them. Interestingly enough we are not the only family like this. There are many who dare not even admit amongst the “quiverful” groups that they had to stop having children because they CANT AFFORD IT! I am sure you have twice as many rebuttals to my comment. :) Honestly….can you spare the comments? But if you insist, I must say I am far from caring about what some Christians have to say because honestly I have found freedom from “traditions of men”.

        The reason for my reply is to say to those who are in this predicament. You are not alone. There are others out there who truly understand. God loves you so very much. He sees your hurt and wants the best for you. He does want you to trust in Him completely. Be led by the Spirit of God and not by what anyone says. Continue to push forward with your head held high even though this “food stamp” thing might be for only a short time. Pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding and He will give you direction out of this mess.

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

          Me: You can get off welfare. Don’t listen to the likes of “someone in FL” who say you can’t. I’ll try to help you, because I love you and want the best for you. Your first step: get off government dependency, or at least recognize the trap that it is. Then apply your God-given talents to rise above your challenges. I know you can do it.

          You: You can’t get off welfare. Don’t listen to the likes of Mr. Jeub who don’t understand how bad you have it. I’ll pray for you, because Jesus loves you. Your first step: depend on the government. Then maybe someday things will get better and you’ll be able to get off (not that you have to…I don’t want to judge).

          I guess this sums it up, wouldn’t you say? Follow today’s conversation at http://chrisjeub.com. It’s a fascinating and very necessary discussion.

      • Emmie Dahl

        Mr. Jeub: you do realize that you are in the 47% that Romney referred to? I am assuming that, as you said you are in technical poverty, you do not pay a net amount of federal income taxes. So you are one of the lazy and entitled by Romney’s estimate. It shows how well he knows his constituents; most Romney voters I know are on some form of assistance and all of them are in the 47%!

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

          Oh please, Emmie. That illegally-captured video was taken out of context. You’re exposing yourself as a head-first Obama supporter, and you’re clinging to class warfare to justify your own faulty political positions.

          • jess

            That video was not illegally captured. Didn’t know it was against the law to film a public gathering if the person is insulting half the country.

            The 47% of America Romney was insulting includes children, students, elderly/retired, people working in military service. It was an incredibly ignorant comment.

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

              Yes, it is illegal to record someone without their knowledge at a private event in Florida. See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/81346.html.

              Personally, I give him a pass. It isn’t part of his campaign, and he has since admitted that they were poorly chosen words. Obama refuses to accept the excuse and continues to phrase his flippant comment to mean something it doesn’t. It’s a cheap shot.

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

    It’s safe to say that this topic raises the hairs of people – especially some who are on welfare. I have someone who IS on welfare who IS asking for help. Now’s the time to give your 2 cents to someone who is ready for some ideas. http://www.chrisjeub.com/case-study-918mo-in-food-stamps/

  • Mommy of 6

    I have always had such respect for you and your family. Perhaps you can help me with my situation some God given guidance. Married 18 years my husband became an alcoholic 3 years ago about the same time of the birth of our 6th child. Progressively worsen, he is now at the point he is abusing prescription medications and can’t maintain employment. He is unable to live with us due to the severity of his mental illness. The man I married was actively involved in church, children and loving life and others. He became altered only in the last 4 years.
    Focusing on working diligently in all things, I have been a work at home mom running a daycare, writing a kids craft website and home schooling my own children as well. I also minister to other families by tutoring their children for free because they don’t have the means to do so. I have been unable to fill my daycare due to the astronomical unemployment rate in the area. And my craft website brings in only enough to pay electricity bills.
    I don’t want to be on assistance but now am unable to feed my children AND pay the rent.
    Just this week I lost all hope that we will be receiving regular support from my husband due to the continual downward spiral he is on. Now without any child support/provision from my ‘husband’, I can choose to accept temporary government assistance and continue to home school my children OR put them in the public school and daycare and get a full time job thereby avoiding government support and that ‘dependency’ that is created through it.

    So, which evil do I choose?

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

      “Evil”? Hmm. Government assistance isn’t evil, any more than public education or working outside the home.

      Here’s evil: A husband’s alcoholism, abuse, drug addiction and abandonment of his family. Would it help if I loaded up a few my buddies and drove over to his hole and roughed him up? Make sure you keep proper perspective. Your tough choices are because of his failures, not yours.

      Turn 100% of your focus on providing the best home you possibly can for your children. Drop all the expectations of old – even wholesome – ideas of homeschooling and homemaking and such. Concern over those things would be like concerning yourself over the wall paint when your house is burning down. Pull your children close. School and a job aren’t evil, and neither is assistance.

      But don’t lie about it or try to paint it for what it isn’t. Government assistance is a trap, it breeds dependency, and make sure your kids know full well that you don’t like it. They’re watching you, don’t you forget that. You didn’t ask for this, but you sure as heck can keep your dignity and love for your family. That can’t be taken from you without your permission.

      And if anyone tries to say you’re bad for any of this, you give them a loving, Christ-centered punch in the face. Pardon me, but I get fumed when guys abandon their families. There’s no excuse for it, and there is no reason you should be shamed into anything other than making the best of your situation. If you take care of those you love, reward will be in your future.

      Follow me at http://www.chrisjeub.com. I’ll be talking much about self-reliance in the future, and perhaps some ideas can be applied along the way. This is a great discussion, and thank you for adding so much to it with your story.

  • Mommy of 6

    Perhaps instead of
    judging the hearts of those who are experiencing severity of life’s famine
    (requiring the need for government assistance); Christian’s should realize that
    God is working intensely on the hearts of believers. A sole providing husband
    has a mental breakdown and walks out on his long time wife and half a dozen
    children. How utterly humbling it is for a newly single mother to admit a basic
    need – such as food for her children or funds to pay her electricity. Its
    obvious that God is removing the root of pride from her life in order to help
    His child touch the life of another who is not yet a believer. I always felt that I had a heart for
    the poor dropping dollars into the plate to feed the homeless or giving away my
    used clothing. It wasn’t until I
    became poor myself unable to feed and cloth the children I was blessed with,
    that I realized I still held misconceptions and pre justices towards those on
    welfare.

    I am not a bible scholar nor a skilled
    debater however I seem to remember Jacob and his sons were on ‘government’
    support during a time of famine for the whole country. Genesis 45 Go down and buy grain for us there,
    that we may live and not die.” 3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down
    to buy grain in Egypt. They were dependent on the government for their
    very survival.

    Wasn’t it God who developed the whole
    system of government support through the favored son Joseph? Sold as a slave and then promoted to
    governor Joseph told his brothers “As for you,
    you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about
    this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:40.

    It was God who
    warned the Pharaoh of the years of plenty and years of famine. It was God who
    to set everything in motion so that Joseph could be available to help the
    entire tribe of Israel. So
    Joseph’s brother’s traded for their immediate need – food. Those on welfare
    trade immediate food for the promise to seek employment, job training and the
    like.

    I am having a hard
    time seeing how something God developed in the Old Testament in a government
    form (that was steeped in idol worship) is so different from the welfare that
    true BELIEVERS seek today. I am addressing the true believers who feel a
    desperate need to accept food from our government as a temporary stop gap
    measure not the individual who has a lifestyle of welfare living.

    Perhaps your heart
    would be different, softer, if you had to set into that large waiting room with
    all the other fathers and mothers waiting a turn to prove their need to feed
    and diaper their children. I am in the midst of life’s hardest (and longest)
    challenge and yet it can still a blessing to others and my children.

    How much easier it
    is for me to touch the lives of the unbelievers (and young believers) in their
    desperate need. I HAVE walked in
    their worn out hand me down shoes. I have skipped a meal for my child’s sake. I
    have looked longingly at a simple inexpensive new toy for my child knowing it
    is out of reach.

    The blessing? The
    unbelievers see that even with the depths of my needs and overwhelming problems,
    I still cling to a God whom I know provides. Just as God provides the doctor to
    set my child’s bones he can also provides a system of provision that he
    establish in the Old Testament via the food stamps, and church clothes closets
    to cover my children’s backs and fill their bellies.Its not about whether or not you accept help – its who you give credit to for it and what you do with the need and the lessons learned from it.

  • Kurt Ramspott

    Chris, great topic. I am the father of a family of 10 (4 boys, six girls) who was called into ministry full time in 2002 as the men’s program director at a local pregnancy care center. When we struck out on our own in 2005 to service pregnancy care centers nationwide my income took a major hit, as well as, our family lost health insurance. It’s been a tough road and I praise God for the preparation and humbling He’s been putting my family through these last seven years. My bride shared it’s parallel to Abraham in that God called him to obey, and immediately he did, but it was not for years that Abraham was ready to lead. We think, and pray, the same process is happening to us. That being said, we too receive government assistance for food and also the children’s health care. As a Christian head of household you have no idea how it pains me that I receive this help from my government. However, if we didn’t, our children would not eat. We are, and have been blessed with a new board of directors who gets it that their number one job is to ‘Secure the rigging’ and get this ship financially righted before we go further on with ministry objectives. And I have left two board meetings in joyous tears over the last two months seeing God vision come to reality. To sum it up, our goal is to get OFF the government dole ASAP and on our own footing ~so that~ we do not become dependent little piggies.

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

      Awesome, Kurt! And good for you for sticking up for those precious babies. God bless your venture!

  • Tina

    As I see it, the real question here is how do we help people who wish to improve their lifestyle, get off of govt. assistance without making them feel they are being judged by us for taking it in the first place?
    I think your segment with Adam and Andrea is a very good first step.

  • Faith

    I have been on food stamps for two years and I know I don’t agree with it, I agree with the statements you made above. I was able to find an organization called the Gleaners and get most of our food from there. I volunteer there in exchange for our food and am letting go of the fear that there won’t be enough food. My self worth has improved and I also am learning to rely on God more and not the government to provide the way. It is hard when my husband works so hard and there still isn’t enough to buy food, I stay home and school the children. I have faith that Heavenly Father will move us to a better place.

  • LR

    Chris,

    Please don’t make statements that are obviously not true, just to bolster your argument.

    You said “Right. They don’t cover preexisting conditions, just like EVERY
    insurance plan in the world. To claim that as a fault of theirs is
    awkward. I’m sorry for your story, but your offense on Samaritan
    Ministries isn’t fair.”

    My insurance coverage, which is partially funded by my employer does not exclude pre-existing conditions. In fact, they don’t even ASK about pre-existing conditions.

    Also, you have repeatedly stated that Samaritan is not like insurance, so to defend Samaritan by comparing it to insurance is illogical.

    You’re going to have to do better than that, Chris.

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

      Really? An insurance company that doesn’t consider your preexisting conditions? Sure, they may cover you (you’ve got me there, I could have tightened that wording up), but they are definitely charging you more. You were asked about preexisting conditions, I’m sure, just like you were asked if you smoke.

      Samaritan is not insurance, but it is a collection of people who take care of one another. Isn’t that what “insurance” started out as? I think it is perfectly okay to compare the two systems. What insurance has become compared to what it should be — that’s a worthy debate to have.

      • Emmie Dahl

        What do you suggest that people who are not healthy enough for Samaritan Ministries do? Since you offered them as an alternative to government assistance, I would love to hear your ideas. As a poor person who does not qualify for Medicaid and yet is uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions, I am interested in alternatives. As it is, I do without treatment for a pretty severe metabolic disorder and will have shortened my life span significantly by not treating it.

  • Homeschool Mama

    Mr. Jeub,

    I’m glad for you and your family that you’re not in the situation to have to apply for foodstamps or state medicaid. I’m glad you don’t know what that humiliation feels like. I’m truly happy for you. I am a little sad that you can’t seem to put yourself in the situation that some families are in. Our family of 7 has been on food stamps and mediciad for the past 2 years. We live in a rural area and my husband makes roughly $29,000 a year. We used to be on his insurance at work but when it went up a few years ago to $500 a month, we had to drop it. We live as cheaply as we can. We have no cell phone, no cable, 1 car for husband to go to work in, no extras. I also have diabetes even though I am a thin person and eat healthy, and I must go on insulin while pregnant. Many in our area in the same boat as jobs don’t pay well and are hard to come by right now. We have been working on starting our own business, which takes time and money. We hope in a few years we can be financially in a better boat, but until then, we WILL feed our children, and we will have health coverage for them (which is rarely used by the way!). I’m sitting here wondering what you would do in the same situation. Maybe you have more education than my husband, or maybe you have more “know how” skills to run your own business. But not everyone is like that.

    I can understand your dislike for government services for people who are abusing the system, those who are lazy and milking the system for everything they can. I hate that as well. But there are a percentage of people using government resources who ARE hard working individuals. My husband is one of the hardest working men I know, and anyone who knows him will agree. It pains him to have to accept medicaid and foodstamps at this point in life. Your comments don’t help us or anyone like us that are in this situation. They’re truly hurtful and degrading, and I just need to remember as I read them that you are only human, and that my God blessed me with a children, blessed us with our wonderful children, blessed us with the job my husband does have (though it doesn’t pay much), blessed us with a home, and blessed us with a country who DOES provide help for it’s poorer working class. I’m thankful that my God has provided a way for my children, even if others try to degrade us for it.

    I pray that God can open up your heart so that you can be a little more understanding of those less fortunate than you. With tears, I pray that you never have to walk in our shoes, but if you do, I pray that people will not make you feel as you have made others feel as they read this blog.

    • OhGr8NowWhat

      Thank you Homeschool Mama. Very well said!
      I wish you and your family the very best during this difficult time.

  • QFMommainMI

    We have been on food assistance as a result of my very hard-working husband’s lay-off when the company he worked for went under. He is employed once again, but instead of being in corporate management like he was he’s struggling to once again climb the ranks in a state with record-setting unemployment (Michigan). Do I feel “undignified”, “unworthy”, or “dependent” for accepting state help? Absolutely not, and let me explain why. For starters, my husband diligently paid into this system for over 20 years of his life while not taking a dime back from it until now. Secondly, we homeschool our soon-to-be 10 children rather than burdening the taxpayers with funding their educations. I could put our kids back in public school and find a job to get us off of food stamps, but that would actually cost the taxpayers MORE than we take in food assistance each year! Michigan schools recieve $11, 987 per student per year in funding, to send our little ones to ps would cost our friends and neighbors just under $120,000 so that we could avoid costing them less than $8,000 a year in food benefits. Did I fail to mention that we still pay close to $4K in property taxes per year despite not utilizing the schools we are supporting? In that case I guess you can knock our bill down to less than $4K compared with $120K if I went back to work. Why are you taking such a stand against food asistance and welfare and not those that drain our resources by using the public schools to educate their children? Your post comes across as critical, judgmental, and horribly prideful. You have certainly been blessed to not have to accept assistance in a time of shortage, you should consider simply appreciating that rather than looking down your nose at those who have not been as fortunate. Those of us who have accepted help appreciate not having to listen to our children cry themselves to sleep from hunger any longer, or watch them shiver from the cold because the heat has been turned off, or listen to a husband cry himself to sleep despite his best efforts to provide adequately for his family. Until you’ve walked a mile in another’s worn-out shoes, you may want to consider what the Word says about it, for “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom” Prov 11:2

  • OneDayIWillBeARealNurse

    I am happy to take government assistance — that I have paid for through taxes via previous and current employment, thank you — while finishing my degree. My husband has been unemployed for quite some time and my retail job pays just enough to cover the mortgage and gas for the car, while my husband and I donate plasma to cover the rest of our utilities. In my state, we only qualify for food stamps since we do not have children, and I am happy to use those SNAP benefits — after all, I have paid into the system for the past twenty years. Once I have my degree (14 months to go!) I will be eminently employable and able to support the family we plan to build through adopting from foster care…that is where the Lord is calling us, and if I have to use governmental assistance temporarily to reach that goal, then so be it.

  • A.Roddy

    From some of the comment here, common sense and planning would have gone a long way. I am not against anyone getting government help but why have more kids than you could possibly afford to feed and clothe? Job losses are possible at any time. You may not want o hear this but sociology clearly says the larger the family, the more prone they are to poverty. Poverty may not be detrimental but it has a severe mental impact on a person. Dependence on gov is reduced when people start making better choices.

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

      So…live in fear. Avoid the blessing of children because, well, you may lose your job…someday.

      You haven’t read our books, have you?

      I’d like to have a link to the site that says “clearly” the larger the family, the more prone to poverty. I believe that is a stereotype, and may even be untrue.

  • Violet

    Hi,
    I wanted to share my mother’s story, to give an example of how it isn;t always as cut and dried as people make it out to be.

    When I was twelve my mother got married for the second time. The man she married turned out to be abusive. The next eight years were awful. It can be hard ot explain what it feels like to dread cming home each day, and considering the days he was out at a work appointment (he worked form home) a great day. During that time, the church in general rejected my mother, as she had left my father and remarried. As in, she literally went to church, and people who were previously her friends refused to talk to her, and people she hardly knew would come up to her and openly berate her. So she stopped going.

    As is common in abusive relationships, she tried leaving a few times over the next few year, but always ended up back with him.

    When I was nineteen, something wonderful happened. My mother found out she was pregnant. My beautiful sister was born! My mother looked at the pain my brothers and I had suffered living in an abusive household, and realised she coupld not put another child through that, so she left my step father. Eventually she got custody, but he has visitng rights. As a result of these visiting rights, my mother must always live in a particular town.

    She then lost her job. Being a small town, she couldn’t find another job in her industry. She needed to feed my sister. This was during the recession. At one point the local supermarket had a backlog of 250 job applications, so it’s not like there was a tonne of jobs. She did some research, and realised there was an industry that was in desperate need of workers, and that, because of her previous study, it would only take her ten months to train. So she went on welfare for ten months, worked hard to get her qualification, and has been gainfully employed ever since, supporting my sister. In a case like this, where she went on welfare so she didn’t have raise her child with an abusive man, I support her decision to go on welfare.

    • Violet

      I wanted to come back and apologize for my awful spelling. I typed this in a hurry.

    • Emmie Dahl

      This is yet another story in which government assistance has been a hand up and not the lifelong dependence that some people want to pretend it is. Helping others is what we are commanded to do, and no one should be ashamed either to give where they can or take where they need.

  • Lynn

    “Ultimately, we believe God will always take care of us”

    What if god’s way of taking care of a person is via government assistance?

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

      Good question, and a lot of people ask that. I press back a bit, though, and wonder if it is used as an excuse. I don’t presume to know the will of God, but I can analyze and criticize the dependent trap of government assistance. That I am quite certain.

      • Emmie Dahl

        Most people who are on government assistance are not on it for long, unless they are elderly or disabled. I think you should read some real statistics before making the assertion that it is a “dependent trap”.

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

          That’s not a true generalization, and I’d appreciate a source from such a claim. As my article explains, the trap is quite evident, not just an assertion.

  • Emmie Dahl

    My family found out that my husband was losing his job and that we were pregnant with our ninth child (combined; it is a blended family) in the same week about 2 1/2 years ago. Since then we have both been working and going to school, and, yes, getting some government assistance. My husband received unemployment until it became obvious that his career was pretty much obsolete, at which time he had to go back to school. Did you know that you lose unemployment benefits if you take even a single college class? Now we are close to graduation in high demand fields. The American taxpayers will reap what they have sown; in just a few years the food stamps and subsidized housing will be paid off in extra taxes, and then it will all be extra funds for the government to invest in other needy families who hit a patch of hard luck.

    We are so thankful that we have had the opportunity to build our way back to the middle class. In fact, we will be financially better off than ever before and paying more taxes as well! Investing in American families pays off, which is why blue states give more to the federal government than they take and red states take more than they give. Your breed of conservative politics just does not work, it has been proven to fail over and over. And now you are advising families to let their children go hungry out of some misguided sense of morality. It’s not what Jesus would do, but then no man is Jesus.

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

      Thanks for sharing your story. I take issue with your claim that “conservative politics just does not work.” Why, then, after four years of liberal politics are more people on food stamps since the creation of the program?

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

      I’m glad to hear you’re getting a footing in your life. I think we agree that investing in the middle class pays back, but encouraging government dependence pushes them down, not up. “Stay poor, the assistance will keep coming, and shame on anyone who tries to tell you that you should seek self-reliance.” If that’s your idea of encouraging someone caught in the trap of government assistance, you are a twisted and cruel person.

      Your last paragraph: A cheap shot. No, I’m not advocating hunger, and I’m not playing the “Jesus card” and shaming people over it. I am encouraging self-reliance and independence, and you are encouraging people to cling to government and degradate their gifts to society. And you’re appealing to sympathy to do so.

  • jess

    I have never been on government assistance but I’ve had several relatives who have. One was my cousin who was broke, unemployed and escaping an abusive relationship. She and her two kids took shelter with my mother in law and chose to go on assistance so she wouldn’t be a total burden while living under my mother in law’s roof. Another was my sister in law who had a child and went on assistance so she could care for her baby. Now both women are working and paying taxes. The assistance helped them as a stopgap.

  • PJ

    Help is Help Chris. You sure seem to take alot and say it is from God. How do you know it isn’t the devil helping you out to pay those bills you obviously are not working your butt off to make the money to pay for? Taking is taking. Doesn’t matter where it comes from. God works through everyone and everything. You cannot assume you are God and know what his actions are so you really should quit preaching like you know God doesn’t want people to receive from the government.

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

      You’re still not getting it. Government assistance is NOT “help.” That’s my point. It encourages dependence and – in many cases – brings about a more difficult life and lifestyle. Real “help” is assistance to get OFF government assistance, which is what Wendy and I try to do.

      Oh please, my message encourages independence and freedom, not an assumption that I’m God. What a cheap shot, PJ. Here’s one back at you: You’re using God’s name (one of the Great Commandments, by the way) to justify an obnoxious liberal view, to keep justifying dependence on government, and enslave people to a lifestyle of poverty.

  • Abby

    where do you get the idea that they are “encouraged to stay on it” I’m not being mean, but what do you mean by that?? What I know about food stamps is that people are not encouraged to be on it! I am not saying maybe other people in their families are persuading them to stay on it, but the government is not. . . I am thinking you are way off if you think Obama or anyone else wants people to be on it and encourages it. . . that is absurd and ridiculous! You speak from your comfortable lifestyle and maybe have never really looked into the eyes of an overwhelmed mother who has five little children (maybe one with some disabilities) who has no car, has to rely on public transportation and her kids not getting sick in order to keep a job. . . life is not daisies and roses for most people. Now I am not saying there is not some serious welfare fraud! That makes me very angry, and I know there are measures in place to keep that from happening. . welfare fraud is the real issue here, and welfare fraud breeds more welfare fraud. I am glad your family does so well on whatever income you have, but you have no right and no grounds to compare yourself with anyone else. . .

    • Abby

      Another thing. . . as a tax payer, I am more happy to see those taxes go to help supplement the income of a family that needs help then for those taxes go to bomb some folks somewhere else. . .I encourage you to read some books that were written around the time of the Great Depression. . not the ones about the families that pulled through, but of the millions of people whose children died because they couldn’t feed them because their jobs did not pay them livable wages, they worked in unsafe conditions and got hurt or died because of it, and then had no assistance. . . do you want to go back to that?????? No system is perfect, but a system that tries to keep children fed so they can go to school so they have a chance is much better than the alternative!

      Finally, I am a firm believer in a mix of programs that helps people to get on their feet. . . help to find jobs, help to find childcare, education, etc . . . just in case you think I don’t think people shouldn’t try to lift them self out . . . and i do think belief in a higher power or higher ideal or goal helps pull people out of poverty. . . but its not always enough dude. . not always enough. .

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

        Real quick: my point is that government assistance does NOT get people out of poverty. It can, in fact, keep people IN poverty. Really, this isn’t too difficult to understand.

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

      Good question. No, there isn’t someone encouraging people to say on assistance. By “encouraged to stay on it,” I mean the inherent problem in government dependency. Once you start making money, they take the assistance away. Or if you are frugal and don’t use it, they’ll take it away. “Use it or lose it,” someone said in another post.

  • Obviously

    Here’s an idea: If you don’t want to be on government assistance, don’t have more kids than you can provide for. I know, I know “God will provide if you trust him”. But don’t you agree that it would be a heck of a lot easier to just go about your life KNOWING that you have, or at least confidently expect to have, the financial ability to support your family on the amount of money that you make than constantly having to spend your time hoping and wondering if or how things will be provided by God? I know that my family is completely and totally happy knowing that we can support our three children. We have savings accounts as a cushion should my husband or I ever loose our jobs and need emergency funds. We can afford to send them both to college, and provide them with the things they need to a daily basis. Had we had more children, this would not be the case. We would constantly have to wonder and hope for things to be “provided” by God, and our kids would have to go without. I don’t think this is fair, and I don’t think it makes very much sense to have children you cannot provide for. Chris, you may have been lucky enough to always have the ability to provide for your large family, but for many large families, you must admit this is not always the case.

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

      It sounds like you have life figured out. You have 3 kids with a life of ease, I have 16 with a life of hard work. I’d take mine over yours, and it sounds like you feel the same.

      You’re making an argument that doesn’t reply to this article, though.

      • Obviously

        I think my argument very much so relates to this article. You’re discussing the issue of dependence upon Government Assistance programs.The point I’m trying to make is that a lot of people, whether they intend to depend on the government or not, wouldn’t even need to consider using government assistance in the first place if they controlled the number of children they had. There is a family in my neighborhood that has 15 children. The parents work full time and live frugally, but must still supplement with help from the government because they just can’t make enough to cover everything, especially since their 14th child was born with severe health issues that require a special diet and other costly materials. Keep in mind that we live in one of the most expensive areas of New York. General cost of living is high even for small families, let alone a family of 16. Wouldn’t you agree that this family probably wouldn’t have to be dependent on the government if they had a smaller family? Sure, there will always be people who take advantage of the system even if they have a small family, but I think the need for government assistance would be largely eliminated if people were more responsible with their reproductive choices. If I have a “life of ease”, as you put it, it is because I only had as many children as I knew I could adequately support.

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

          “People are on gov’t asst b/c of too many children.” Your conclusion is what I’d call a non-sequitur: it doesn’t follow the claim. Even in your example of the neighbor, there are other reasons for gov’t asst: New York high living standards, health issues in 1 child…probably more. To narrow it down to one reason alone is not reasonable.

          But you are still missing the point of this article (and this entire website). I’m not trying to tell you to have more children, I’m trying to convince families to do what they can to get off the government dole. Your neighbor’s children aren’t the drains on society; they are blessings and will contribute mightily to society. Government assistance is the drain. If you were dependent on it, I’d say the exact same thing.

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  • Mom of 8

    We are the parents of 8 children. We currently have 6 at home. Due to a job loss we ended up asking for assistance. It helped us in a time of need when there was no paychecks and no unemployment checks coming in. We nearly lost one of our vehicles (hubby’s work style van), almost lost the family van, and nearly lost our home. If people want to use the assistance for a situation as that, there is no reason they should not. The people who seem to be on assistance as a way of life or choose that as a career path so to speak, is the ones who need to learn some job skills, etc. and quit depending on a system to supply their every need, all the time. The system is there to help people but it was not put in place to for people to live on it for years.

    • Mom of 8

      Sorry. I was typing to fast. We did lose hubby’s work van. They came to the house and repo’d it. If you have never had anything happen like that to you, you don’t know how humiliating that is. Or going to ask for assistance. Or having to go to the food bank and get food. I pray you never have to experience any of that because it is degrading and humiliating. Hubby lost his job on Dec. 1st, just a few months after we moved into our home. Our youngest was 4 months old at the time. Until you have walked a mile in someone’s shoes, you don’t know what you’d do.

  • JAC

    I have a related question, for tax season: Are refundable tax credits welfare? Examples would be the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Making Work Pay Tax Credit. In other words, the taxpayer gets back a “refund” of money he/she didn’t pay into the system during the same tax year. Is that welfare? I can see arguments for both sides. Thanks!

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

      If taking tax credits is called welfare, then is my paying taxes the same as giving to charity? I don’t think so. I, too, have heard people try to moralize the issue of tax credits, but it is the system that is dealt to us, not a system I advocate.