When I lived on Long Island, there was a guy like that who would go on the trains before they left Penn. Station. He'd say, "I just need $2.50 to get home to Syosset. (or wherever)." He was smart enough to keep his story straight.
One time, though, he stayed too long and the train left Penn. Station, bound for Jamaica. He cursed the conductor up and down - he didn't want to be on that train. And of course he didn't, as it was all a scam. He was panhandling on all of the trains. On the Huntington branch, he'd claim to be going to Syosset. On the Great Neck branch, he'd pretend to be going to Little Neck, etc.
I am not saying that this guy is a scam artist or that all folks are who are asking for $$. But scammers absolutely do exist, and their modus operandi is to make you feel as guilty as possible so that you will open up your wallet. And you may be doing someone a favor. Or you might be buying them another bottle of Thunderbird. You have no way of knowing, or confirming, any of this.
Want to do good for people and have at least a little bit of an assurance that it's going to people who need it (or, at least, that the people who are taking your $$ are accountable for it)? Then do some research and give to a charity that supports the homeless.
Here's a review of a charity that helps homeless veterans in Philadelphia -
I agree with what your focus. But I think saying "tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich" is hurtful. Everything that's important to you requires funding. I think the rich are taxed so much that they've had enough. And now they're not investing in new opportunities to generate growth for us "non-rich" people. I think the Buffet Rule would generate like 50billion over 10yrs. That's alot of money, but its nothing when you run 1trillion dollar deficits each year.
There's realestically nothing more to tax. Our spending is not aligned with our revenues. I'm wary of ending subsidies to oil companies and agriculture. That money is simply subsidizing our purchase price. Take away the subsidy and the prices rise. Its a zero sum benefit. But it sounds good when you're campaigning.
I appreciate this thoughtful conversation. Hurling insults is so destructive.
They will not be voted out of power, because this trend has been on-going for too long.
Once they get the idea in their heads that our deficit is growing too fast, and taxing the rich is wrong, there's no hope that our government will change as needed.
Look at all those conservatives who's homes and businesses were destroyed by Sandy, and they want our government to help them rebuild, but they don't want to increase taxes on the rich.
There's no cure for.....