This is painful for a liberal to admit, but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America’s safety net can sometimes entangle people in a soul-crushing dependency. Our poverty programs do rescue many people, but other times they backfire.
The evidence from the past four years, and really the last half-century, is that the “backfires” outnumber the “rescues,” and creates an entitlement mentality that reaches into virtually every corner of society.
And I can’t comment on the mentality of parents who would willfully deny their kids the opportunity to become literate lest they lose their SSI checks without violating this site’s PG-13 language policy:
“The kids get taken out of the program because the parents are going to lose the check,” said Billie Oaks, who runs a literacy program here in Breathitt County, a poor part of Kentucky. “It’s heartbreaking.”
“Heartbreaking” is far too generous a word. “Infuriating” is better, but still not good enough.