Re: @ Dr Stephen Jones As a childless curmudgeon.
It seems to me, that painting poor people who are dependent upon government assistance as moochers does a disservice to the real moochers in society.
The tax evaders, government-rescued bankers, and others of that sort.
People with economic troubles will not have the mental surplus to do much else than trying to find a way to get by. That's the exact reason why you need a better and more comprehensive social assistance system. Not a system that merely sends you a wad of money at set intervals, but that tries to break with a "family tradition" of low social status.
The lack of mental surplus is why people in dire financial straits might be more inclined to grab at whatever money is offered, while people doing great have the mental surplus to try and work out how to better screw over society and avoid contributing.
What should be done is not cutting welfare, but increasing it's type and cost to create benefits in the future. It isn't just about the parents, it is about ensuring that the child or children have an actual chance at leading a life worth - to themselves - living. Just because a child's parents find themselves "mooching" is no reason to punish the child, and if you do, you'll almost inevitably end up condemning the child to a similar life.