Kent Mahoney

About 30 years ago in Clear Lake, Texas, I said in this column there was a tear in the moral fabric of this great nation of ours; that the current generation was not being as responsible as the previous. There was going to be a price to pay down the road. 

For those of you who are connected to me on Facebook, I posted a reprint of an article penned by John Tabb about the abuses of the welfare system. 

I’m going to break this down, but please know, I don’t think anyone has accomplished all of what’s on the list. 

The scenario is for a man and woman who have had two children. Hang with me through the entire list, please. 

>> Don’t get married.

>> He uses his mother’s address for mail.

>> The man buys a house.

>> He rents it to the woman and two children.

>> He applies and gets Section 8 status for a three-bedroom house and $900 for the rent.

>> She signs up for ACA, and since she’s not working gets the full amount of subsidized health insurance.

>> She signs up for the Pell Grant and gets to go to college as a single mother of two at no cost to her.

>> She applies for and receives SNAP to the tune of $600 a month, maybe more.

>> She finds a program that gives single mom’s in college a free phone. The minutes aren’t much, but it works. 

>> She rotates around the different charitable organizations to get her utilities paid (light, water and gas).

>> He moves into the home, but continues to use his mother’s mailing address.

>> When tax times comes, he claims one child, she claims one child. Both claim head of household. (I don’t know if that still applies under new tax code.) It does generate a $1,800 credit for someone though.

>> She used to work, but has a bad back now. She receives $1,800 monthly in disability.

A married couple with a stay-at-home mom does not generate an income; zip, zilch, nada, nothing.

An unmarried couple with a stay-at-home mom can net $21,600 disability + $10,800 free housing, + $6,000 in health care coverage, + $6,000 in free food, +$4,800 in free utilities, +$6,000 in Pell Grant money for books and labs, +$12,000 for Pell Grant tuition, and finally an $8,800 tax benefit for being a single mother. That’s about $75,000 annually in benefits. (These are the author’s numbers, not mine.)

Now, I will say that I seriously doubt that anyone is actually doing the entire list. But any combination of this list would be a huge advantage in the couple’s favor.

I am all for giving any person a “hand up” who is meeting their situation halfway by helping themselves. 

I do not condone giving “handouts” to those who want to sit at home and crank out babies. 

I do believe that some “social” programs are needed for the very worst situations and for those who are truly disabled or destitute of the means to take care of themselves. 

Today, I submit that any remaining moral fabric left in America is due in great part to the generation just behind my age and everyone who is older than me. 

I wonder just how much longer we can hold it together. 

I’m a father and a grandfather. I pause to wonder what we are giving our children in terms of a country, and a quality of life in which to carry on. 

That’s all I’ve got, Henderson.

See ya in the funny pages.

Kent Mahoney is the managing editor of The Henderson News. His e-mail address is

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