Tifton Gazette

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June 21, 2014

Rants and Raves for June 22

— I would like to address those who think anyone on food stamps is lazy and does not contribute to society. I have worked since I was 16 years old, I pay my taxes and work my butt off for everything I have. When I became a single mother after 12 years of marriage I did not have a choice but ask for assistance so I could provide for my children. I work 40 hours a week and I am on food stamps. I use them wisely, still use coupons and buy things on sale. Make sure you know their story before you judge.

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I just went to a local state office this morning.  While there I was called "sweetie" twice and "doll" once.  I am 57 years old and don't like being called either of those terms.  I feel like it's stamped across my forehead sometimes.  Store clerks, restaurant staff and even so-called medical professionals all use these terms.  I have told some of these people that I don't care to be called such things and they seem to take offense.  Unless you are one of my "near or dear" find something else to call me!

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To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. --Norman Mailer, author (1923-2007)

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“For all y’all” responds:

To those whose “nerve was hit” reading my rant, you missed my point entirely. I’m not suggesting that Granny and Grandpa don’t deserve their Medicare, though I’ll correct two misconceptions that came up: 1.) the majority of people on food stamps do pay into the system (ask anyone with a full-time, minimum wage job who also qualifies for food assistance how much tax is taken out of their salary and how much sales tax, gas tax, etc. they pay) and,  2.) increases in longevity and medical technology mean that if you’re on Medicare or Social Security now, you can expect to collect much more than you paid in. Those points aside, I was simply trying to echo Samuel Johnson: “a decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.” It’s sad to begrudge anyone something as basic as food in a country as prosperous and great as America.

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The Tift County Commissioners should be commended for being good stewards of government and for showing respect for the taxpayers...I wish I could say the same for the city and the BOE...obviously they do not understand that times are hard.  I have always paid my taxes in full and on time (even though I was never blessed with children to send to school). I do not live in the city, but pay taxes on property owned in town...so I have kept an eye on where and how they spend our money.

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Matt Towery's column was dumber than usual Thursday. He accuses Obama of fiddling while Iraq burns. Towery doesn't offer any specific solution but apparently would have us invade the place all over again. Obama did the right thing, i.e., get out and stay out. Iraq is a failed state and we have no duty to try to hold it together in perpetuity.  

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I want to thank The Gazette for reporting the news without a filter or worrying about stepping on toes. It’s one thing to claim to be a news agency that reports the news, and it’s another to just step up and do it. I’ve heard criticism for the story on the man arrested at the Carson Motel, but the fact is, The Gazette isn’t to blame for the man’s behavior. They simply reported the news, no matter how ugly or embarrassing it was.

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Tift County head football coach John Reid.

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