When most Americans think of federal assistance such as food stamps and unemployment insurance, we envision people who are trying to get through hard times. Unfortunately, it appears the federal government sees things differently.  From yesterday’s Washington Examiner:

“Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you,” USA.gov announced today. The ”government made easy’ website has created a “help for difficult financial times” page for people to learn more about the programs.

The government got that statistic from a poll asking Americans what helps them the most during tough times. Here are the results:

  • Savings 44%
  • Family 21%
  • Credit cards/loans 20%
  • Government assistance 15%

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking seems to be prevalent in the federal government. This summer it was reported that the Department of Agriculture has been advertising the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps):

Yesterday, Daily Caller reported that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is using tax dollars to push the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, in Spanish advertisements. This series of advertisements, while not new (they have been out since 2008), is another bit of controversy surrounding the ever-more expansive and expensive food stamp program. They also follow on the heels of an English ad encouraging people to sign up for assistance.

Just as terrible is the fact that the food stamp program even provides some corporate welfare. This is what our federal government “assistance” programs have come to – instead of basic assistance to help people through very tough times, their federal overseers seem to think they should exist for their own sake. To quote Rachel Sheffield of The Heritage Foundation back in April, in writing about the food stamp program:

In other words, the federal government seems to be saying that federal dependence translates to poverty relief.

One would hope that even liberals would hop on board in opposing this kind of thinking. It Is one thing to think the federal government has the constitutional right to provide these programs (it doesn’t, of course). It’s another to think that the programs should exist regardless of whether or not they accomplish their assigned tasks.