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September 19th, 2017

Reiss’s Pieces

Regardless of all the varied and sometimes stupid ideas I have gathered over the years, the one that I still feel is absolutely correct is that everyone in the United States of America deserves to have enough to eat and a warm place to live. We are a great country and in this country no one should go hungry nor should they have to live on the streets. I can’t imagine that many of you would disagree with me. However, and of course I have a “however” I don’t believe that those who don’t work should be able to get assistance which makes them able to live (and eat) better than those who are working to care for themselves and their families. I don’t think that I am wrong. And I do know people who are able to receive assistance that allows them to live a lot more comfortably than those who are working, and working hard. So, what is the solution?

I don’t know if this is actually true, but I heard this past week that the governor of Maine has decided to make a big change to the state’s assistance program and this is what it is. Mothers or fathers with children who are unable to work will continue to receive the assistance they need. But those who don’t have children or are physically able to do so, must either get a job for at least 20 hours a week before they get their assistance checks or they have to work for the State of Maine for 20 hours a week. Now, I don’t know if this is true or not but I think t is a terrific idea.

A while ago, I was checking out at our local grocery store and the person who was checking out in front of me was a young, very fit young man. Well, he put a bag of dog food on the counter and was told that his food stamps didn’t cover this food. Well, he was furious and he told the checkout woman to wait a minute. He walked to the back of the store and then came back and threw a huge steak with the rest of his things. Then he said, “ Well, I guess the dog will just have to eat this.” Now, I have to admit even he was uncomfortable with how quiet the rest of the line got! But he bought the steak and the rest of his upscale purchases and left. I did look at my cart and what I was able to afford to buy and I assure you that I didn’t have a steak or any purchases like a steak for my dogs or my children either! From that moment on, I decided that there was something wrong with our system.

Back in the day, I worked seven days a week for many years, raised four children and never ever was able to run around the grocery store and buy whatever I wanted without looking at the price first. And to tell you the truth, now that I no longer have any children at home and even though I no longer am able to work, we still only buy what we can afford and that we have worked to pay for. I think it is time to rethink our assistance programs. No one should go hungry and no one should be forced to live on the street, but if someone is able to work and is young enough to do so, they shouldn’t live better than the man or woman who is working. I know several people who are disabled but who continue to work. Not because they have to but because they want to. I would assume that they were brought up like I was, which was, you have to work in order to care for yourself and/or your family. I would like to think that is what America is all about!

Now that I have either made you think or made you mad, I would like to just tell you something to smile about. My grandson Sebastian has been called Sea Bass since he was about 6 years old. He got the nickname while at a baseball camp on Cape Cod and it just stuck. Well, over Christmas week he took a bunch of young children skiing for a day. I guess someone told them that their instructor would be Sea Bass. But it would seem that at least one of the boys couldn’t remember his name, so they all called him “Fish sticks”. Now, you have to admit that is funny! Malcolm thought it was so funny that he has continued to call him “Fish sticks” whenever he remembers. I, however, still call him Sea Bass whenever Sebastian is too formal. You got to love grandchildren!

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