Yes, you contribute, but its more like a short term disability policy than a full blown health insurance. Also, if you want to compare it to insurance, you must realize that every policy has its limitations.
The problem with your case-by-case approach is there are too many people sucking the government tit (for good or selfish reasons) for any amount of paid labor to effectively (and cost effectively) evaluate. I'd like to see a hand full of families I know personally pulled off WIC because I know what they are doing. They know how to work the system.
People know how to work the system on unemployment too. Heck, I have a relative who's company tells them how to file for unemployment for a mandatory shutdown they do every year. Personally, I think that's wrong. You are not unemployed, you just have mandatory week off without pay or the option to volunteer to work a cleanup crew for that week at your regular pay.
I think the unemployment extension is a bad idea. Setting a precedent like this is already crazy. The more they have to pay out, the more the workers and their employers have to pay in. Plus, they have to stop the extensions at some point. Otherwise, there is no real incentive to go back to work for some people.
I have family member that was laid off and used their unemployment just long enough to find a new job. Did the new job pay as well? No. Did he have the same or better benefits? Nope. Does he have a job that is supporting his family. YES!
I have another family member that was laid off with a VERY SMALL chance of being called back to work. He didn't even start looking for a job for about 6 weeks. He stayed at home and played PS3 all day. He was completely content with waiving all taxes and making about 75% of his normal take-home pay without doing a lick of work. When they finally started warning him that his unemployment was about to end (by the way, this was before extensions), he finally put in a few applications. He lucked out and got a call-back from his company, but would have milked unemployment as long as he could.
I have a good job now and have never been without a job, but I'd flip burgers and mop up crap in a rest stop bathroom if that's what it took to keep my family fed and a roof over their head.
Maybe I should clarify that I know everyone isn't just sucking on the government tit because they can, but there are a bunch of lazy people out there. They aren't willing to move to find work. They aren't willing to take advantage of government funded programs to re-train themselves for a better or different career, they aren't willing to take a position lower than their previous, and the list goes on and on.
That's my 2 cents. And there is no ignorant racist stuff in the above text.
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