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Entitlements FTW…

Steve —  4.20.2010 — 2 Comments

Most of you know where I stand politically, but for those of you who don’t, I’m a Constitutional conservative. I believe in small government, personal responsibility, strong national defense and a free market where competition is the driving force that keeps things balanced.

Ever since I became sensitive to the political climate in this country, I’ve been intrigued at the strategies of liberals. In a recent post, I reveal what I think to be the motivations behind their actions and today I want to add some fuel to the fire.

This new facet of the liberal agenda stems from their intense desire to give something to people who do not deserve it according to the foundational principles of this country. We call these programs to give where it isn’t warranted “entitlement” programs. Welfare and unemployment benefits are two programs that readily come to mind.

Embedded in that very term is the idea that these programs have become “rights” by which they can and should never be taken away. See that? What was designed to assist someone in a hard spot has become a right, not a gift or a loan or even a gracious provision. The implications are staggering.

On the surface, these programs look like a good idea – they are designed to bridge the gap for those less fortunate in times of need. On paper, they look great because they were designed to be TEMPORARY programs – a hold-over until one could get their feet back under them.

What was not considered when these programs were still ideas is the human heart and its propensity to desire something for nothing. We love to get presents and gifts and unexpected surprises that we don’t deserve or have to pay (in any way) for – it’s in our nature to desire this.

And what’s missing is an incentive to wean oneself from these programs. Sure, they don’t provide much money when compared to what a full-time job offers, and that should be enough to get back in the game. But when combined with other programs and exceptions to other rules, one can (and does) survive solely on the handouts from the Federal government, which is really those of us who work hard and pay our taxes.

And the long-term problem with these programs is that they:

  1. Produce a lazy and expectant segment of our population that will just want more and more
  2. Pave the way for other entitlements (can anyone say health care?) to be created for the same reasons
  3. De-incent people to work hard, earn a commiserate wage and contribute to the principles that make this country great
  4. Become a template for use in the state government to further “protect” the less fortunate

Before I conclude, I want you to know that I am all for helping those that need it. I have been the recipient of unexpected gifts and, likewise, been the giver. I realize there are certain situations where temporary help might legitimately turn into permanent help (e.g. injury sustained while protecting this country in the armed forces), but these should be the greatest of exceptions and, sadly, they are not.

As the political landscape in Washington becomes more liberal, the number of social programs continues to rise and we are primed and ready to turn these programs into rights that cannot be taken away without much pain. Let us not forget, the government (Federal or State) does not create any wealth – all of the money they spend comes from the people by way of taxes.

So, for each new program that comes out or an extension of existing programs (e.g. unemployment benefits), the taxpayer (individuals and businesses) will be called on to fund them. The implications of taking that money out of the private sector and putting it in control of the government will have catastrophic implications on this country’s ability to respond to the ever-changing global landscape.

There’s a reason that a 235 yr. old country is viewed as the most powerful, influential and desirable destination in the world – innovation in everything we do. If you want to know why I am so against big government, it is this one point. Taking money away from people and businesses to fund programs designed to make people dependent on the government kills innovation because it kills the spirit needed to push past the pain and sacrifice to obtain the dream of freedom and liberty.

It’s been a slow boil (frog reference) and along the way we’ve been collared and harnessed to serve the government all in the name of compassion. We’ve become slaves to our government and liberalism the master. More programs means that freedom becomes harder to see because the carrot of a free ride becomes more and more enticing.

More people see that entitlements are easier than fighting every day for your wage and don’t realize that with each bite, the water temp goes up. But this isn’t just a problem for them, it’s a problem for us all. Nobody is immune to the effects of big government – especially if you are a hard working wanting to obtain financial independence (a form of freedom).

This is a philosophical fight that has real-life implications and the long-term good isn’t found standing in the line at the unemployment office:

  • it’s found in taking personal responsibility for your actions
  • it’s found in doing what’s right in the face of intense opposition
  • it’s found in making sure the next generation has more opportunities and options than you do
  • it’s found in punishing the corrupt and rewarding the righteous so others will see where we stand and what we value
  • it’s found in the freedom to choose what to do with the hard-earned money in our pockets

it’s found in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

The time is now to decide to stand up and say with a loud voice that you desire the long-term good over the short-term salve that never leads to true healing. Don’t know how to make your voice heard? With your vote in November. With your e-mail and phone call to your elected official. With your voice online. Just start flapping those gums and people will listen…you did after all.