A Time For Choosing

Since we were never given the choice in the last presidential election, the next election will be the time to choose. The 2008 election culminated in eight years of bashing Bush, and Bush not responding once. Americans were offered only hope and change. And who is against hope, and who is against change that makes things better? ‘Better’ being the operative word.

Obama never said, elect me and I’m going to nationalize health care and interfere with free-market economics by declaring some industries and businesses as ‘too big to fail,’ and borrow and spend trillions of dollars, not to stimulate the economy, but to ‘save’ union jobs in the public sector and the auto industry. He never said elect me and I’ll make it the responsibility of government to increase labor union membership.

Did we elect a President to put America on the fast track to Socialism? Do you think he would have beat Hillary Clinton in the primaries if he ran on what he is doing to this country today?

But now there is a choice. And it is no better illustrated than in Florida’s new law to drug-test welfare recipients and certain state employees in order to enforce a drug-free workplace. Progressives argue that Gov. Scott was trying to save money on the backs of the poor.

I don’t think it’s a matter of fiscal conservatism. Whether conservative or liberal, broke is broke. Just because someone is using drugs is no justification for spending more than we have. And it’s not that Scott, or Republicans, don’t care about poor people. They care about people who are on drugs and getting public monies.

The disintegration of the family among many poor people is a good reason to make bad choices. And it is welfare programs that tend to replace the father, or mother, and create this welfare class that is evermore dependent on the government. What Gov. Scott is doing is a move in the right direction. A move in the direction of teaching people some personal responsibility. Get off the drugs and you can continue to receive help.

This bill brings out the differences between the political Left and Right. One endeavors to fix the problem by attempting to fix the person. In this case, to provide an incentive to kick the habit and become self-sufficient again. The other seems content to be the giver of money, with no reason or motivation to quit a bad habit, which also tends to garner a strong voting block of welfare recipients.  In this context, it is Republican policies that try to heal and raise the poor by making them independent, if not just less dependent on government. It’s the old, “Give a man a fish and he won’t starve for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he won’t starve for his entire life” thing. It is Democratic policies that tend to keep the poor right where they are, dependent on the government for their livelihood, meager as it might be. The uneducated will easily identify with the person who gives them what they want instead of the one that wants them to earn what they want on their own. It’s about trying to teach people how to get off of welfare instead of trying to find out how we can find money to subsidize destructive behavior. Healing the person or family is better, more compassionate, than keeping them where they are. The bill isn’t about hating poor people.

Let’s look at the results of a landmark Democratic program. Nearly half of the country is getting some sort of government assistance. Does it look like the war on poverty (that began 50 years ago) has worked? There are drug rehabilitation programs out there, some at no cost. Individual responsibility means taking advantage of it and choosing to use what would be their drug money toward their own rehabilitation. How else does one teach personal responsibility if they have to do nothing on their own to make a change? They can get their welfare, if they choose to get off drugs first.

Democratic programs do nothing to reduce the number of poor people. What they have done is grow government and make poor people more dependent on government, and on the Democrat party. That is the result, whether intended or not.

There will always be people at the bottom of the ladder. The bottom of the ladder for U.S. citizens is half-way up the ladder compared to other countries. Democrat’s policies tend to make that ladder horizontal, destroying the notion of the individual.

Similarly, you will hear Democrats complain about the so-called income gap. They think it is evil that some people can make and accumulate wealth while some don’t.  I wouldn’t be so concerned about a gap between the rich and poor. I’d be concerned to make sure that the poor have every chance, the same chance, to get rich on their own.

Republicans have a HUGE up-hill battle to get people to understand that their policies are geared toward people helping themselves instead of relying on the government as their caretaker. Encouraging personal responsibility is so easily demagogued as Republicans hating the poor. And Democrats never miss the opportunity to do just that.

The immoral aspect of the Democratic social vision is that they put their faith in the government instead of the individual, which conditions poor people to look to them for sustenance. The fact that it builds strong voting blocks is no coincidence.

I’d like to see no minimum wage and no capital gains taxes. Since that has never been the case in my lifetime, one can only wonder how much better off ‘the poor’ would be. Again, it highlights the difference between the competing philosophies. Big government and control of economic conditions, or less government involvement and allowing free-market economic principles to work.

You don’t have to look far to see the difference. The free-market capitalism camp made us the greatest country in the world in under 200 years. The rest of the world is in the other camp and has nothing but shared misery to show for it.

4 thoughts on “A Time For Choosing”

  1. It will be interesting to see how drug-testing affects welfare. Studies show the level of drug use is the same for people on welfare and people not on welfare.
    I love a “Fair Tax,” but you face armies of lawyers, accountants and industries that benefit from the current hodgepodge. They love to holler about folks on welfare, but they have their own version of the dole, too.

    1. It will be interesting to see how drug-testing affects welfare.

      The goal is to have a positive effect on the people. Every user that refuses to quit leaves that much more money to help others in need who make the right choices. It comes down to this, should taxpayers subsidize a bad habit?

      Studies show the level of drug use is the same for people on welfare and people not on welfare.

      No doubt. But the difference is the people not on welfare subsidize their bad habit on their own, not the government.

      I love a “Fair Tax,” but you face armies of lawyers, accountants and industries that benefit from the current hodgepodge.

      You missed the biggest benefactor to the current tax code. Politicians and political parties. Which is why they are also the biggest opponents to scrapping the current IRS code in favor of the FairTax. As bad as the economy needs stimulating, the preference of the political class is more evident. They seem to prefer the contributions that tax perks can buy over a robust economy that the FairTax would bring.

  2. Hi Mark,
    All that you mentioned are part of the tax code and not programs designed to provide sustenance for day-to-day living. But the solution for that is easy. The FairTax. There ought not to be any bailouts or paying businesses to NOT produce something. That is all antithetical to free-market capitalism and only serve to buy votes or campaign contributions.

    However, I’m fine with being consistent and drug testing anyone that gets taxpayer money as a prerequisite to qualifying for government (taxpayer) money. That would include labor unions and community groups like ACORN, the NEA, Planned Parenthood, etc.. How the fur would fly. 🙂

    Happy Labor Day to you too! Thanks for jumping in.

  3. Ross,
    Don’t forget the breaks that go to homeowners — mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on income tax. Insurance etc often can be bought with pre-tax money.
    And if we test welfare recipients (OK by me) should we not also drug test the farmers who get subsidies for not growing crops, the bankers who got bailouts and the businessmen who get tax breaks, too.
    Just pulling your chain. Happy Labor Day.
    Mark

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