Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks to cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is get women Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we'll test all recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke, or get tats and piercings, then get a job.
Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks? You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your own place.
In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or you will report to a "government" job. It may be cleaning the roadways of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you to do. We will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo and speakers and put that money toward the "common good".
Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all of the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before you say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin their "self esteem", consider that is wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
Yes, the letter was published in the Nov. 18, 2010, edition of the Waco Tribune Herald. But it wasn't written by a 21-year-old female. Just the opposite.
Alfred W. Evans, a 56-year-old resident of Gatesville, Texas, wrote the letter to the editor hoping to get others incensed about welfare abuse. What he didn't expect, according to an interview with him in the Tribune Herald in November 2012, was that the letter would be emailed across the country and become an Internet phenomenon.
"I don't want attention," Evans told the newspaper. "I just want people to stop and think."
Evans said he decided to write the letter after witnessing something in the grocery store. A woman accompanied by a group of children "about emptied out the meat counter," he told the newspaper, then paid for her purchases with a Lone Star card, which acts like a debit card for food stamps.
The woman paid for other items, mostly junk food that isn't covered by the Lone Star card, with bills from a large wad of cash, Evans said.
After walking into the parking lot, he became even more angry, Evans said. The woman loaded her groceries into a Chevrolet Suburban with specialty wheel rims, he said.
"I got into my 10-year-old [Ford] F150 truck and thought, 'I just paid for everything she just put in her truck,' " Evans said.
Evans' letter went on to say that people getting government assistance shouldn't be allowed to get pregnant, smoke, drink alcohol or get body piercings or tattoos. And welfare recipients should be required to work somewhere, even if it's at a government-created job, he wrote.
When the letter was published, the Tribune Herald began receiving inquiries about whether the letter was real. And the letter also began flying around the Internet - and it still is.
Evans, who spent 20 years in the Army and works as a computer specialist for the Texas Department of Transportation, told the newspaper that he didn't know how his letter spread. When he Googled the letter and saw how viral it had become, he said he was "flabbergasted."
He started to receive letters addressed to him in Gatesville, a small enough town that the mail carrier knew where to deliver them. Some people sent money, contributions to a political campaign they hoped he'd start.
The newspaper article also points out that in some online postings and emails, the supposed originator of the viral email was a 21-year-old woman. Evans wasn't sure why this happened, although some experts contacted by the Tribune Herald said the reason coul be because people might be less dismissive if they thought the ideas came from a young woman rather than an older man - the stereotype of a conservative.
Evans told the newspaper that he doesn't oppose all government assistance; his beef is with people who abuse the system. He said he doesn't even have a problem with tattoos, of which his wife has several. What he opposes is people who take government money and then use their own cash to get tattoos.
Evans told the newspaper that he doesn't regret writing the letter and he doesn't care what people think about him because of it.
His only confession, he said, is that he doesn't actually want to be put in charge of anything more than getting himself to work on time.