Benefits.gov: Your Source for Other People’s Money
Benefits.gov (formerly GovBenefits.gov) was launched in an effort to provide citizens with easy, online access to government benefit and assistance programs. Eight years after its initial launch, GovBenefits.gov underwent a major redesign and became Benefits.gov. However, the program’s mission remains the same: reduce the expense and difficulty of interacting with the government while increasing citizen access to government benefit information.
Benefits.gov has what is known as their “Benefits Finder.” After answering some questions about yourself, your family, and various other things, you will be given a list of benefits/programs that you may qualify for. I completed this and I qualified for…..get ready…..122 programs.
That’s right. One hundred and twenty two programs. Most (All?) of them are so absurd and are such a waste. Here is just a few examples of these that I qualify for:
American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) Leadership Development Programs– State Dept.
The American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) program focuses on international educational exchanges for young political leaders worldwide.
American Film Showcase- State Dept.
The American Film Showcase is a major touring film program bringing American documentaries, feature films and animated shorts to audiences worldwide.
American Music Abroad Program– State Dept.
The American Music Abroad program is designed to communicate America’s rich musical contributions to a global music scene. The program sends music groups abroad to foster cross-cultural communication with global audiences.
Arts Envoy Program– State Dept.
The Arts Envoy program is designed to share the best of the U.S. arts community with the world. The program sends American arts professionals– including performing artists, visual artists, poets, playwrights, theatrical and film directors, curators, and others– overseas to conduct workshops, give performances, and mentor young people.
Capital Construction Fund Program– State Dept.
The Capital Construction Fund (CCF) Program enables fishermen to construct, reconstruct, or under limited circumstances, acquire fishing vessels with before-tax, rather than after-tax dollars.
DanceMotion USA– State Dept.
DanceMotion USASM sends American dance companies overseas to connect with audiences and communities through dance workshops, lecture demonstrations, public performances and other arts education activities.
Literature Fellowships– National Endowments for the Arts
Fellowships for creative writers are available on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose available one year and fellowships in poetry available the next.
Grants are also available to published translators of literature for projects that involve the specific translation of prose, poetry or drama from other languages into English.
Sports Envoys International Exchange Program– State Dept.
Sports Envoys are athletes and coaches who travel overseas to lead programs that were developed by U.S. embassies and consulates. These American coaches and athletes hold sports clinics for young people and their coaches, participate in community outreach activities, and engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of leadership and respect for diversity.
smARTpower– State Dept.
smARTpower sends American visual artists abroad to collaborate with local artists and young people around the world on the creation of community-based art projects. Focusing on direct community engagement that encourages dialogue, experimentation and creativity, this 45-day program is designed to stimulate discourse around local or global social issues including the environment, education, health, girls and women’s issues and freedom of expression.
Shouldn’t the State Department have better things to do than manage programs like this? I mean, it’s not like we have anything to worry about with our embassies overseas being attacked or anything.