Not So Terrifying Words


As the President and Congress play shell games with billions in tax cuts it’s hard not to be cynical about their motives and methods. According to former president Ronald Reagan, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

In many instances this is true, but to be fair we should also appreciate and acknowledge when government has been a blessing. I’ll go first.

I appreciate having received unemployment checks when I couldn’t work and social security disability payments after my cancer diagnosis. Since non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is on their list of terminal diseases I was approved with no hassle.

If you have cancer—or other debilitating disease—you may qualify to get some of the money back you’ve been paying into the system all these years. The place to check is the Disability page of the Social Security Administration’s website.

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One thought on “Not So Terrifying Words

  1. I can understand and appreciate your point, Mike.
    I wonder whether you might have a response to some of my thoughts about the relationship between the state and me.
    I have been (mostly) out of work for quite a long time now. I have been looking, but it is difficult in an economy where employers can make very stringent resume demands for even the most basic of jobs. (I can’t get a job making widgets on an assembly line, because I don’t have 3 to 5 years experience making widgets, especially the specific widgets that Acme makes.) Thus, I have had to rely on unemployment “benefits.”
    But there are a number of things about this that really trouble me. For one, like any man, I want to be productive; I want to be on the giving side of things, not a recipient. For another, though I am no fiscal genius, I do understand that the government can’t keep extending these benefits indefinitely; in fact, the extension of these benefits based on money that isn’t there (or shouldn’t be or won’t be for long) could end up being a second wave of economic disaster like the real estate one that preceded it.
    But the biggest problem for me is that I hate the idea of the state being my “benefactor.” It makes little difference to me whether or not I’ve paid into the system. It still smacks of Luke 22:25. For a Christian with a profound sense of ecclesiology, and a robust and biblical theology of the “state,” it is a bitter gall to be receiving these “benefits.”
    I would welcome any wisdom you might have, as I am praying for understanding and direction.
    Shalom!

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