(EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter was written in response to a letter to the editor that ran in the Sunday, June 10, edition of The Gazette regarding Senator Eric LaFleur’s vote on House Bill 380, which would have required welfare recipients to pass drug tests to receive aid.)
Mr. Michael LeBlanc, thanks for you concern about our senator’s lack of support for House Bill 380. To understand why he did this, I will try to put it into perspective for you (and anybody else in Evangeline Parish) that doesn’t “get it.”
I was born in Ville Platte, the parish seat for Evangeline Parish, in 1956. I graduated from Ville Platte High School in 1974, and left Ville Platte for the next 30 years. When I returned, neither Ville Platte nor Evangeline Parish were anywhere near the same as when I left.
In 1974, Ville Platte and Evangeline parish residents were a proud people. We worked hard for a living, took responsibility for our actions, and never took a handout unless it was absolutely necessary. If you lived in public housing, you weren’t proud of it and did all you could possibly do to move out. You did not take welfare checks or food stamps proudly. You hoped no one saw you use them when you shopped at the A&P food store.
Now, Evangeline Parish has become “Entitlement” Parish. A large percentage of people here in Entitlement Parish are on disability, yet seem to not be disabled enough not to hunt, fish, party or work on the side for cash. Lots of people “have a case” or are looking for a case (lawsuit). Entitlement Parish probably has as many or more Section Eight housing per capita than any other parish, although I have no specific data other than just riding around the parish and observing the multitudes of them.
If you go to any store you will see many, many people proudly pull out the Louisiana Purchase card to buy soda and chips and who knows what else. It seems like everyone gets a card. To get these entitlements, you can’t show much income to the federal or state governments. Therefore, not many people have very much money in banks. So the first week or 10 days of the month, you see the entitlement group making money orders to pay their bills to hide income from the government to keep that free stuff coming.
So, Mr. LeBlanc, you see this is what my parish has evolved into over the last 30 years. It’s pathetic, but it’s true. Eric LaFleur is a Democrat (party of entitlement). Here in Entitlement Parish, he helps the Democrats dole out the entitlement money and in return, the residents of Entitlement Parish vote for Mr. LaFleur to protect their entitlements. It’s a vicious and dangerous circle. And at the end of the road is Entitlement Parish where those who are too lazy to work, scam the system, or just plain want a freebie vote in who they want, since they outnumber working folks who support themselves and want nothing but freedom from the government.
Not many people read your letter and most that I spoke to were amazed that Mr. LaFleur would vote against spending our hard earned tax money on people who use the system to get every free nickel that the government hands out without so much as making sure we are not supporting drug heads. I am, as you can see, not politically correct and this will probably raise some eyebrows and upset some people, but the truth is the truth. Like the welfare state our federal government is trying to make our country into, it has already taken over here in Entitlement Parish.
Thank you for you concern Mr. LeBlanc, but I fear that the “do nothings” have taken over here and we will not be able to get back to the honesty, dignity, self responsibility, and self respect that we used to have when it was Evangeline Parish.
P.S. - For the record, I understand that some people need and use entitlements properly. It is our responsibility to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. It is the responsibility of our local, state, and federal governments to hand our hard earned tax dollars to those “in need,” not “in want.”