This letter was inspired by a recent editorial concerning West Virginia's unwed baby mama epidemic. I think I have a solution that will please everyone, except maybe the baby mamas themselves. That solution involves making them, at some point, be responsible for paying back the welfare system for providing them and their children years of food, shelter, medical expenses and, in most cases, literally giving them free day care services and college educations.
I have known many young, unwed welfare mothers who have improved their circumstances by getting an education and pursuing six figure-based careers. In some cases, these women were able to get a master's degree in their chosen field, which allowed them the opportunity to get extremely high-paying jobs.
However, even though I think it's wonderful when faced with the choice to either be a career "welfare bum" or try to make something of themselves, they decided to become productive members of society - I think it's totally wrong to continue to force taxpayers to be responsible for the cost of their education and expenses.
I say, instead of just freely giving them the opportunity to attend college on a "no strings" basis, have the DHHR start running tabs on their behalfs. Then, when they're out of school, have them start paying back their debt - just like the rest of us do who can only go to college courtesy of student loans.
Besides putting more money back into the state, I think this would also resolve the problem of "less ambitious" baby mamas who simply go to college to keep their welfare gravy train rolling in, and who have no serious intentions of ever using their educations, or actually get jobs.
This situation will only begin to improve when our society stops rewarding people for making poor/bad decisions and begins making people on welfare become more responsible for their actions, expenses and educations.