Cut Us a Break, and Stop Looking at the Fine Print

Emery Taveras


Emery Taveras, Staff Writer

Millions of Americans today are struggling to make ends meet and cannot provide for their families. The government believes they are doing the best they can to help these people, while in reality, they are destroying homes and causing more hardship. Financial stability is at the core of all families, but when that core is rattled, all things fall apart. Several welfare programs such as Medicaid and Food Stamps are meant to help low-income families financially, but a person’s eligibility for these benefits lies within the status of their income. The problem is that individuals who aren’t qualifying for these benefits, are left helpless or even incapable of providing for their loved ones. It’s time for the government to stop looking at what’s only on paper and to start taking into consideration a person’s home life, net pay, and costs of living.

“Millions and millions of people don’t need food stamps anymore,” according to Donald Trump. But this is where he’s wrong. Let’s say a single mother is denied government benefits because she works two jobs. Why is that? To be eligible for government benefits, the recipient must be below a poverty level that is set by the state. The gross pay being brought home, in accordance with the government, must be enough to cover all of their expenses. However, after-tax deductions and basic living costs, she’s left with almost little to nothing having to choose between paying the rent and buying groceries. It’s easy to assume that a mother with three kids and that makes 45k yearly, should be okay financially, but without looking further into her home life you’ll find she’s actually struggling living from paycheck to paycheck.  

Writer, Bob McKinnon, even recorded that a woman was forced to limit her mobility for temporary security. She’d been forced to take a lower-paying job instead of a higher paying one because if not, it would have resulted in the loss of food stamps. It is these types of scenarios that can be avoided if the government begins caring about what people are bringing HOME rather than just what they are making. 

Taking into consideration a person’s living costs help people in need, but it would also show those who are lazy and exploiters. 52.2 million people in America receive government aid and 59% of people who are receiving this help are unemployed. Someone who is fully capable of working that sits all day at home is given the opportunity to collect welfare. Yet, a parent who works two, three, maybe even four jobs busting their ass cannot? Being a child of a single mother who has worked up to 3 jobs at a time, I’ve seen sacrifice and I’ve seen struggle. In the end, these hardships are avoidable and action needs to be taken immediately. 


Works Cited:

McKinnon, Bob. “Why Do People Get So Upset When The Government Helps The Poor?” Fast Company, Fast Company, 22 Apr. 2016,

Fadulu, Lola. “Cities Prepare for the Worst as Trump’s Food Stamp Cuts Near.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Jan. 2020,

Wilkinson, Abi. “How Government Policy Is Forcing Poor People into Catastrophic Debt | Abi Wilkinson.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 Jan. 2018,