Another “Why?”

I can’t find a decent quote about what I’m thinking after watching two ads on TV. So I’ll just go right to what I have to say…

It takes alot to get me really angry, but not so much to get me pissed off. And if you ask the wife, she’ll tell you that it’s hard to tell the difference to the casual observer. Just to clarify, I usually get pissed off when I don’t understand something; I get angry once I learn the answer and it still doesn’t make sense to me. I know that sounds as if they are the same, but to me there’s a difference. Anyway…

I’ve just seen, for what seems a thousand times now, the TV ad about foster children from an organization that asks for donations. The ads parade purported foster kids – all loveable tykes with sad, doe-like eyes – telling how they don’t have adequate clothes, shoes, school supplies, etc, etc, etc., and the organization begs for the publics help. What they don’t say is where these kids are. Are they in some type of govermnent group home awaiting placement with a foster family, or are they already in one?

Assuming the ads aren’t some kind of scam, if they’re in a government group home, then I’m pissed off at the govermnent for not taking proper care of these kids and seeing that their needs are fully met. If they’ve already been placed with a foster family and they aren’t getting the necessities they need, then I’m royally angry.

In California, as I understand it, not counting what local goverment amounts might add, the state pays foster parents a tax-free $609.00 for each infant up to 4-years and $761.00 for older. The child is also given at no cost free medical through MediCal (our version of MediCare). The foster parent also receives a tax-fee living allowance for each child they take in (as well as food assistance, such as WIC or foodstamps, so I’m told). 

I can’t figure out where the problem is. I can’t imagine how one child under the age of 18 could possibly cost over $700 a month, especially if there are no medical bills and even more money for room and board. My sons lacked for nothing, were even spoiled to a degree, and I never spent anything like that on them – housing, food, clothes, toys, sports, school supplies and medical insurance – even adjusted to today’s dollar.

Back when my boys were young I worked with a guy who, with his wife, was fostering three kids. At the time he and I were both making about $35,000 a year. Back then, he got from the state $300 for each kid, housing assistance in the form of a 5-bedroom apartment for which he only had to pay $150 a month that included free water, gas and electric. His take from the state after his share of the rent payment was $750 a month. All he had to cover beyond that was whatever clothes they needed and some extra food money (beyond what the assistance didn’t cover). He use to brag that in the end he was pocketing at least $6,000 a year tax-free, that it was like getting a 25% tax-free pay raise.

I remember wishing I had that kind of help raising my two boys.

But what really riled me was when he formally adopted one of his foster kids – and he told me he would be able to keep receiving all of the same assistance until the boy, now legally his own, reached the age of eighteen.

And then, following that ad, there for the umpteenth time was one of those ads from an organization begging for help for our service-disabled veterans –  usually for rehab or other medical needs, or whatever. Assuming this ad also isn’t some kind of scam, the government sent these people into harms way and when they came home maimed the government won’t take care of the debt they owe them?

Where’s the gratitude?

Don’t get me started on that one!

I don’t know whether to be pissed or angry. Can anybody explain the “Why?” of either?

– Bill


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