July Fourth editorial
To the Editor:
In his July 4th Editorial Comment, "On Independence," TMS writes that the Founding Fathers would not recognize what America has become today. He gave several examples of situations they would deem unthinkable, but he omitted many things in America today that would cause our Founding Fathers to recoil in horror.
Women can vote and own property. Married couples are not considered one person, meaning a woman who marries does not give up her rights as an individual. African-Americans can no longer be bought and sold. They, along with Native Americans, are citizens with rights, including the the right to vote. Catholics, Jews and Quakers have the right to vote. Laws are in place to protect children from physical and emotional abuse. Individuals do not have to own property in order to vote.
The Founding Fathers wrote "All men are created equal." What they meant was "All rich, white men are created equal." Only white men who owned property could vote unless, of course, they were Catholic, Jewish or Quaker. In fact, when George Washington was elected President in 1789, only 6% of the population was eligible to vote. Independence was for a select few!
TMS asks what Benjamin Franklin might say about 47 million on food stamps, 65 million on Medicaid, 50 million on Medicare, 63 million on Social Security and 100 million receiving welfare benefits - more than the number of Americans with full-time jobs.
Medicare and Social Security are two very successful programs to which all workers contribute. There would be many destitute seniors in the NEK were it not for these two programs. Many are in favor of abolishing these programs, but have yet to offer suitable replacements.
TMS's statistic that more American are receiving federal welfare benefits than the number of Americans with full time jobs absolutely is not true! In 2011, the Census Bureau released statistics regarding the number of Americans on means-tested welfare programs and the number of Americans working full-time. The Census Bureau clearly indicated that the numbers for individuals with full-time employment counted individuals. The numbers for those on means-tested welfare programs counted everyone in the household. For example, if one person in a household of four was receiving food stamps, the Census Bureau counted that as four recipients. Politifact gave the "more people on welfare than working full-time" a "Pants on Fire." Shame on you, TMS, for repeating that lie.
Many families have a full-time wage earner and yet qualify for welfare programs meaning Americans work full-time and still live in poverty. 900,000 veterans rely on food stamps. Veterans who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country need food stamps in order to survive. I think Benjamin Franklin would find this very disgraceful and very sad!