For the last 15 years or so, I have worked in “low income” schools

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these are the kind where the majority of the kids qualify for free lunches. While I truly feel bad for the kids, it is a different story for the parents. I see them buying all sorts of crap across the street at the convenience store. The school provides free breakfast to every child whether or not they get free lunch so none of them should be accepting food stamps and then spending it on chips and soda for a before school snack or spending it on lottery tickets. Or, trying to get disability money for their kids simply because they need speech services. Don’t get me wrong – kids that are seriously disabled need extra money because their services cost money so maybe they should get it, but these kids that can’t say the s sound correctly don’t.

I guess what I’m saying is that I think that a lot of the aid goes to people who abuse it. I think that the requirements for getting the aid should get tougher and there should be more monitoring about it. Maybe it should go to the schools in the form of sending home dinner food for the kids or something rather than relying on parents. Many of them run out of money before the end of the month because they’ve wasted it or used it on something else. Then they come to our social worker and ask for help. She provides it in the form of canned food that we keep at the school for this purpose. At least we know that are getting decent food for part of the month.

Honestly, I don’t think it *can* be solved

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The only was to fix it is to treat it like a person who is over his head in debt. What would *we* have to do? Cut spending, and increase income. Income for the government is taxes. So they’d have to raise taxes. That would be fine by me, *if* I knew they were going to pay down the debt such that the increases could be dropped after the country becomes solvent. But that also means that a bunch of stuff would be cut. Since neither side can agree on WHAT needs to be cut, the only fair way is, say…25% across the board. Defense, government salaries, social services, medicaid, medicare, social security, aid to other countries, EVERYTHING. But then that would put some people who need that aid just to survive in very serious peril. So that will never happen. So we’re right back where we started – spend, spend, spend until we run out of money. I agree with both of you. It isn’t a question of IF – it’s HOW and WHEN. Once that happens, all those government programs will fail anyway – so THEN what? Maybe the ‘preppers’ have the right idea – crap is going to hit the fan without some serious action. And the government won’t stop feeding ITSELF.

I found this concept …..

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disturbing, but maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised given that I get daily spam telling me that “bancruptcy is no longer a dirty word….”. On the other hand, I agree that the problem is getting so large, it’s no longer of question of whether we’ll default, but rather how and when. I get so annoyed at this general topic, the USA’s debt load, that I go non-linear pretty quickly. But I’d appreciate hearing what folks on this list think should happen. Comments?