R. Bechard: Get out and find a job

Gov. Paul LePage is working hard to stop wasteful spending, but some people don't get it. He is cutting welfare and food stamps to many 18- to 21-year-olds in the state looking for free handouts who are not willing to help themselves.

People think LePage is cutting general assistance to the elderly. That is not true. The issue is that for 35 years general assistance has been out of control. It is time to fix it.

For people who don't like LePage, at least he is working to stop the out-of-control welfare system. But people call him cruel and heartless and ruthless for going after people who are cheating the general assistance system.

Too many people are getting help from the state.

It is time they got off their butts and found jobs.

Reggie Bechard, Lewiston

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Cutting the line

I can see that to some people this is a matter of principle. Like seeing someone cut the line. If you let people cut the line then everybody will want to cut the line or so it goes. I will admit to wishing to see the line cutter crash when I'm stuck in a construction line and someone passes the line to cut into the front but then I'd be stuck there even longer. I think assuming the lump would starve or get shot trying to steal is wishful thinking. More than likely he would survive just fine and his victims would be the kind that would not be able to fight back. What's more it would end up costing the taxpayer more. I could picture him, for example, conning the life savings from seniors and throwing them into dependency, or making a bad batch of meth and putting 20 addicts with no health insurance into the hospital, or getting an old gasoline engine from the dump and trying to repair it in his kitchen and blowing up a low income housing unit. For me it's not about principle it's about math. It is cheaper and safer for the community to pay him to stay home and watch porn all day. . Also I'm seeing Help Wanted signs all over the place. When last the economy was good people mostly went to work. I think it will happen again. As for the lump just hope he doesn't end up working next to you.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Lumps are certainly a dilemma, Claire

Perhaps in past years our lawmakers have simply rolled over and shut their eyes to public assistance rip off artists. Perhaps the people who make the decisions about who is deserving of a free ride have been asleep at the switch. You know, it must be nice to go to work in your state office, draw a great paycheck and give away taxpayer money. What ever the case, I'm sure there are thousands of Lump cases like yours, Marks and mine that are draining our state coffers dry.
I believe every able body person in this state on public assistance should prove that they have made at least three contacts with perspective employers every week to qualify for their check. PERIOD!
As for your Lump, hiring a hit man seams like the best solution. (just kidding) It's a serious dilemma and I wish you luck.

 's picture

He's also...

...great at finding jobs for family members who are too lazy to get off the couch and get a job. I feel real good about my tax money paying the LePage family so they can live in a manner to which they have become accustomed.


The lump

I also have a lump in my family and I don't like him either. In my wildest imagination I cannot dream up anyone who would hire this guy for anything at all. No other employee has ever or would ever work beside him. So he lives off the system and anybody he can con. I don't like paying for him but I'm not hearing any real solution. Sure cancel his check and see what happens. I can only assume that people think he will get a job. Laughable! Starve to death? Not likely. He can come up with any number of unsavory things to do to survive that will end up costing me even more than the pathetic check he is getting now. And he has kids. Believe me they would suffer a lot more than he would. I would love to hear what people think would happen after he gets thrown off welfare.

Nathan Schultz's picture

More important than what

More important than what happens to him is what are those kids of his learning? No matter my effort or my drive everything will be ok government's got it? If I want nothing more than survival then I must do nothing more than exist?
To give a "layabout" a free ride is not only disrespectfull to the productive who pay for it, but also to future generations that learn working to get by is for suckers when you can get by for free.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

He will work or starve. He

He will work or starve. He may get shot sealing from others. There is a plurality of other scenarios. All that said, we must not be weak and keep throwing good money after bad.

Perhaps it is time to let natural selection take its course.

Jason Theriault's picture

Well then...

"Perhaps it is time to let natural selection take its course."

Then lets cut Social Security and Medicare, because if the elderly can't afford medical care, we should probably let nature take it's course.

The reality of the situation is that society is better off having a safety net with people leaching on it than not having a net at all.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How come when someone wants

How come when someone wants to cut waste in these entitlement programs the opposition throws up a false dichotomy - take it as it is with all its with all the waste or we’ll have nothing.

Can we not identify those who do not really need the assistant in order to apply limited resources to those who need it the most?

Perhaps you should ponder what will happen in 5-10 years (if not sooner) when we are face-to-face with the realization that we cannot afford these programs as they work today. Is it not more compassionate to cut rolls now to help put these programs on financial solid ground, so they are available to the most needy?

Do you think that far in advance? Do you only care about yourself?

The math is does not lie!


Credibility gap

No one is against getting rid of waste and fraud. The problem is defining what is waste. When people say something is waste or we can't afford something 99% of the time they simply mean it's something they hate and don't want to pay for and has little to do with real needs or progress for the community as a whole. You will notice that the panic which occurs about spending on social programs totally disappears when it's time to budget for weapons or wars or the bridge to nowhere or to fund appointed positions or legislative bennies like health care and retirements or to give tax cuts to people who don't need them. Also, when you eliminate an entire program you are not just cutting out the people who don't need help, you are cutting out those that do and those that don't. Taxes for the superwealthy are down 50% from what they were a few years ago. What else can you think of that is 50% cheaper than it was 20 years ago? I don't want to see able people living high on the taxpayer's dime, but I don't want the streets of my city filled with people living in cardboard boxes and children unable to learn in school for lack of medecine, food and glasses either. It would be easier to take all these remarks about budget deficits and welfare spending seriously if they were not totally aimed at the disadvantaged and so insincere.

 's picture


Since the unemployment rate in Maine is rising this year, maybe Lepage needs to buy a bigger "open for business" sign. Apparently the one he's relying on isn't working very well.

AL PELLETIER's picture

The Lump

Several years ago my nieces boyfriend fathered two children with her. He claimed to have been injured while playing high school football. His life was sitting on a couch watching TV and playing video games while collecting his state check every month.
His injuries, that he claimed disabled him, didn't stop him from having sex, driving a car, visiting relatives and eating ,which he did very well. Appropriately, we nick named him "The Lump". These are the lumps that are perfectly capable of finding a job but bamboozling the state for that check is the extent of their job search. These are the lumps that need a second look at by our welfare system.
I sometime disagree with Lepage's leadership, but am happy to see he's going after the lumps who are stealing our tax dollars.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Here is another story. I know

Here is another story. I know two people who turn down salary increases because it would push them off available government assistance programs. These are capable people who could work harder and earn more money than they receive as salary and government assistance combined, but they don’t want too.

Tell me why we should continue to pay for these people? While assistance in general is a good thing, we must not pay for those who are capable, but will not work. I meet far too many people with stories similar to Al’s and mine. These stories are far too many to ignore.

RONALD RIML's picture

Reggie - Care to Name 'Names?'

Reggie Bechard writes:

"But people call him (Governor LePage) cruel and heartless and ruthless for going after people who are cheating the general assistance system."

Who calls Governor LePage cruel and heartless for going after the 'Cheats,' Reggie?

I haven't heard that one - so why don't you let us in on your information. And while you're at it - turn in the 'Cheats' you're aware of.

 's picture


Every leftie who comments here calls him that, and more, whenever he suggests doing anything to get a handle on welfare - oops - public assistance. Usually they bleat "There are no cheats!" or "There are only a very very very small number of cheats so it's not worth 'going after' them."

The translation is always the same: "The cheats are potential Democrats and all we care about is the number of votes created or saved."


Mike - you're smarter than this

The original letter wasn't worthy of comment - as it turns out, most of the comments aren't worthy of comment.

However, in your case - you're better than parroting something written by an associate producer trainee at Faux.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Cheats or no cheats, the

Cheats or no cheats, the state can only afford to finance a finite amount of people. That is the simple truth.

For those who don’t think that is right, you can certainly donate to your charity of choice. Oh, but you want to spend other’s money....not yours to solve a problem.

RONALD RIML's picture

Yep - Got 'Facts?'

Facts matter.

Hysterical retorts such as yours are only too typical of the Fox-Limbaugh Flambe of the hour.

Got cheats? Prosecute them.

Do we think this administration would use 'Unidentified (Stealth) Cheats' as a reason to gut a program?? Of course he'd stoop that low to take the bread out of people's mouths.

Would you cheer him on? While Jesus watched?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Just last week we agreed that

Just last week we agreed that the war on drugs was a failure. The war on poverty is another failed war, or should I say another failed government policy.

While general assistance has a proper role, it is not proper to use it as an income stream. It should only be temporary.

Lastly, there is no need to invoke Jesus; perhaps you should keep him where he belongs – in your private faith.

RONALD RIML's picture

Tell that to 'Corporate Welfare'

I don't have to 'Invoke' Jesus.

He inserts Himself. Chilling thought for you???


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