Stimulus … The Intersection of Need and Abuse

The line got longer by the minute. All I needed was a gallon of milk. Only one attendant at the registers because  a serviceman was wrapping up the repairs to some appliances. The other attendant needed to sign for the work being done.

I was about three people back. A young lady placed her items on the counter. 1 litre of DP. 1 16 ounce bottle of DP. 1 1/2 pint of what appeared to be ice cream. 5 scratch off cards. Now make no mistake. I think the lottery in our state was and is a rouse. We face budget shortfalls in our state, voted for a pay raise for out teachers (and we still should do better), and the expected proceeds from the “education lottery” continue to be unmet. And we wonder how can we get it all done. UPDATE – Learned today while there is legislation to provide OK teachers with a raise but it seems unlikely given the economic climate.

Really it was not about buying some scratch-offs. The tax on the poor will continue despite protests. I could not believe it when the young lady paid her tab in two parts. She first handed the cashier her “food stamp swipe card” to cover non-essential foods. Then she paid for her scratch offs with cash and the bill for the lotto cards was nearly double her “food stamp” purchase.

We help folks in our community. Sometimes in ways that go unannounced. Through our church we provide food, clothes and soon medical care. But the idea that tax dollars I pay go to provide for non-essential food stuffs so cash can go for a chance on lotto cards left me reeling.

Thinking about this very small event led me to consider the question I have been asked recently. “Pastor, what do you think about the stimulus package?” After listening to Pelosi suggest dollars for Planned Parenthood would spur economic growth, I could not help but think the young lady at the store was the product of a failed ideology. Our government cannot control itself, how could we ever expect citizenry to do more than that.

Maybe we do have a government, by the people and for the people. We simply elect ourselves to office and then wonder why we cannot get a handle on the economy. We create our own need and then abuse the plan intended to solve our problem. So, take some time and go read just what the nearly $1 Trillion will go to support. Wrap your mind around how some of the spending will indeed foster economic stability and growth.

While you do that, I am going to try to get my mind around the illustration played out in front of me in the small convenience store.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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