, Muskogee, OK

June 21, 2013

Help must occur despite fraud

— There will always be unscrupulous people in the world.

It is impossible to make to make them all go away.

But that fact should not stop people and government from helping the truly needy in our communities.

For instance, more than 26 percent of people in Muskogee County are considered “food insecure” — unable to access enough nutritious food to live an active and healthy lifestyle.

Many of those are children.

All of those children are in circumstances beyond their control.

Whether they have a bad parent or a good parent in a bad situation, those children, especially, need our help.

 Government spends taxpayers’ money when it lends a helping hand through Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or any other form of public aid.

If government were to abandon those truly in need, then the expense saved would likely appear in other areas.

Crime and all its associated costs would skyrocket.

Healthcare costs would go up for all of us, too.

No one wants to pay for others’ mistakes.

Taxpayers don’t like it when government spends money unwisely.

And taxpayers know that there is fraud in those systems.

There are people who don’t want to work — who would prefer to take the money of hard-working citizens instead.

That is absolutely true.

But there is no reasonable way around aiding some fraudulent recipients without hurting children and those truly in need.

Government would have to grow in order to have enough people to investigate potential fraud in the system.

Entrepreneurs  know the cost of doing business includes some theft or fraud. The profitability of their business outweighs the risk of fraud or theft.

That’s the same attitude both the public and private sectors must take when providing assistance.

Children should not go to bed hungry because there are some people who take advantage of the good will of their benefactors.

All adults share the responsibility of taking care of the most vulnerable in our society.

Sometimes that is best achieved in the private sector through charities and churches.

Sometimes that is best achieved by government.

Either way, it is important not to become so disillusioned by the fraud in the system that we turn our backs on those who truly need our help — children.