Help Stop The Fleecing Of Taxpayers

Southern Tier TEA Party Patriots (STTPP) launched “Operation Push Back” in fall 2016 with its document (request a copy at sotierteapatriots@gmail.com). The NY state government dictum is “We Create, You Pay!” Policies and spending levels are mandated without examining their consequences leaving taxpayers hijacked! Operation Push Back proclaims it’s time to push back against a mammoth, inefficient state welfare bureaucracy. Too many welfare recipients are welfare-dependent rather than enabled to self-sufficiency. Operation Push Back is AGAINST unfunded mandates, FOR welfare and food stamp reform, and AGAINST free college tuition.

STTPP sent copies of “Operation Push Back” to Chautauqua County legislators, “red” (silent majority) county executives, Governor Cuomo, state legislators, and Congressman Reed. The document, along with information from The Heartland Institute’s 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card, reported here, lays out reasonable reform measures that benefit both taxpayers and welfare recipients.

New York is one of six “socialist” states and dozens of cities (Jamestown?) and municipalities in danger of bankruptcy or collapse in the next recession (www.teaparty.org, Dec. 16, 2016). These states have too many “takers” and not enough “makers” (private sector workers), creating a near-certain death spiral. New Mexico has the highest number “takers,” 148 per 100 private sector “makers.” New York comes in fifth with 108 “takers” per 100 “makers.”

New York ranks No. 1 on the list of states with the highest tax burden per capita for 50 years. Property taxes are highest in the nation because local revenues are used to subsidize the State Budget, says the New York State Association of Counties. Moreover, “the cost of 9 state-mandated programs and services equals more than 100 percent of the county property tax levy collected statewide outside of New York City.”

New York welfare. Work is at the heart of an effective welfare program, moving people from dependency to self-sufficiency, says the Heartland report. Welfare money is spent inefficiently in NY. The state does not enforce the federal lifetime five-year limit on benefits. Benefits beyond this period are financed out of state funds! Loopholes, exemptions, and “stop the clock” tactics are used frequently. NY received an “F” grade for not enforcing sanctions on welfare recipients. Strong sanctions provide “carrot-and-stick” tactics that encourage workforce participation.

Cost of New York’s benefits far surpasses nearly all other states (47 states spend less!) but the money is spent inefficiently. New York ranks #39 (grade, “F”) for policies and #2 for results. The state spends $19,158 per welfare recipient whereas South Dakota, with far more efficient policies, spends $4,176 per recipient. The following states have good balance between policy and results. Information is for: a) grade; b) policy rank; c) results rank; d) amount paid per welfare recipient: South Dakota (A), No. 1, 25, $4,176; Idaho (A), 2, 7, $13,005; Louisiana (A-), 7, 17, $17,177; Texas (B+), 10, 3, $10,844; Florida (B), 12, 6, $9,869; Virginia (B), 13, 20, $4,745. New York should take heed!

Is there anything more inhumane than shackling people to a lifetime of poverty and not helping them to independence and self-sufficiency? Successful states have efficient welfare policies and are aggressive in their efforts to help welfare recipients. Both Maine and Kansas reduced their rolls of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) 80 percent and 75 percent respectively since 2014.

The Portland Press Herald wrote that “the Maine reforms recognize that giving welfare to those who refuse to take steps to help themselves is unfair to taxpayers and fosters a harmful dependence among beneficiaries.” All Maine ABAWDs age 50 and under are required to participate in Maine’s Food Supplemental Employment and Training Program (FSET).

According to The Post-Journal (“Welfare-To-Work Participation Up…, “ Jan. 23, 2017), Chautauqua County’s welfare-to-work participation rate increased slightly from a pathetically low 17.6 percent (June) to a still low 20.1 percent (October), ranking 43 out of 57 counties. Low welfare-to-work rate “has to do with the exempt population growing.” State average is an incredibly low 22.2 percent. Exemptions require serious scrutiny followed by action. Twenty-six states have Work Participation rates higher than New York’s!

Free college tuition. Less than a third of community college students earned a 2-year degree. Only one-tenth went on to earn a 4-year degree. Some 60 percent of CC entering students take remedial courses. Tragically, the majority who take even one remedial course never complete a degree! The major culprit? Lack of readiness for entering college (www.higher education.org). One remedial course cannot overcome 12 years of failed learning in public school! Governor Cuomo is putting the cart before the horse! He needs to address miserable failure rates from Common Core first! Then, perhaps, students will be prepared for college work – minus free tuition.

Does everyone need to go to college? Don’t communities have high need for competent carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, mechanics, and other trades? Cuomo makes no mention of these important skills.

Successful welfare reform saves lives; produces positive effects on multiple generations; saves taxpayers billions of dollars; and helps address serious social maladies (e.g., crime, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy).

Become a Push-Backer! Help stop the fleecing of taxpayers by our “socialist” government! Call and/or write elected officials: Young, Goodell, Horrigan, county legislators. Researched solutions and positive examples are available that will solve the welfare and education issues.

COMMENTS