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Reader's view: Americans should work for their welfare benefits

With almost 110 million people unemployed in this country at present, as per the Government Accountability Office, and with many of them able-bodied men and women on some sort of welfare, why not bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps? Many good things were built by the CCC, like roads, bridges, buildings, gardens and the like, in the 1930s and 1940s. The corps gave citizens a sense of purpose and renewed pride in life.

A reported 16 states are looking at bringing back the requirement of work to receive welfare benefits. Since 47 percent of citizens do not pay income taxes, why do the remaining 53 percent of taxpayers have to support unemployment payments, the use of free phones, subsidized or free rents, or subsidized or free health care — and with not much effort or incentive to change the attitudes of those on the receiving end?

All too often I see someone who deserves welfare but is too proud to take it. Working in the grocery industry for more than 50 years, I saw individuals buying steaks, lobster and such, and paying for those purchases with food stamps via EBT cards. Food stamps were changed to EBT cards to avoid the embarrassing look of using food stamps. I have seen copies of register receipts that show this fact.

This country used to have a culture of pride in jobs well done. Why has this nation become a culture of takers instead of doers? Why is being wealthy treated as a mortal sin? Could it be that the wealthy worked hard for it?

President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech falls on deaf ears nowadays.

Ron Klehr