Whether it’s one of the proposed new health care “benefits” or any other government program that “gives” something to someone for nothing, it is easy to make a promise if you don’t have to worry about paying for it. This has long been a political tactic, especially favored by liberals.
It puts conservatives, at least those who worry about subtle nuances like balanced budgets, at a disadvantage (which is well understood by their opposition). They are in a position of having to say “no”.
Just like the parents of an immature teenager.
And the reaction is predictable. Rationality goes out the window and emotion rules. The dramatic pleas, the illogical justification, the threats and accusations, the blindness to reality.
A loving parent stands their ground, teaching the child that we must all live within our means, that no amount of wanting something… even something good… can overcome the inability to pay for it. The child grows up knowing how to make better value judgments and to live within their means.
A weak parent allows the child to manipulate them. Even though they know it’s not the right thing, they give in. The child grows up to be a self-indulging, self-centered, spendthrift who is financial over-extended, at best, and a burden on others, at worst. Their financial troubles intrude into every other part of their lives… family, work, friends… and many are negatively affected.
It’s bad enough when this scenario plays out in a private setting.
It’s horrible when it plays out in national politics. We should run our country responsibly, just like our family should function.
In the bid for people’s votes, it is easy for politicians to promise benefits when they tell the recipient they won’t have to pay for them. It’s easy to convince voters to spend Other People’s Money. In the auction of “goodies” paid for by someone else, utopian liberal promises can always outbid the sober conservative reality.
It would be one thing if, say, 97% of the people were paying taxes to provide benefits to the bottom 3% of the people who were truly needy. Indeed, that’s actually the way our charities work… the masses take care of the few… and the U.S.A. has a great reputation for doing exactly that.
But taxing people is not the same as charity… it is forced. Mandates are NOT the same as charity. And good charitable organizations are closer to the recipient, they KNOW who is receiving their help and are more likely to KNOW the recipient ACTUALLY needs help. Unlike government programs where, if you can fill in the form “correctly”, you will automatically qualify. Everyone knows government programs can be “gamed”… and the less scrupulous of our citizens are more than happy to play that game.
But, here’s the real problem:
The ratio is not 97:3 tax payers to receivers. That would be wonderful… a lot of programs would work fine financially.
While we ALL receive SOME benefits of government… driving on the roads, being protected by our police and military… who actually “pays the bills”? Many people pay little or no taxes (indeed, some people pay no taxes AND receive money from the government).
In 2005, 50% of taxpayers paid only 3% of all taxes… and the other 50% paid 97% of the taxes. And some people paid no taxes at all.
When figuring out how to pay for all the wonderful benefits of the new programs, the cost is being placed largely on the shoulders of those already paying most of the taxes. Politicians know they came “buy the support” of greedy citizens who recognize the great deal they’re getting… all the benefits and little or no cost to them.
Not only is it immoral, though… it is unsustainable. Short-sighted politicians can play this game to their own benefit but the final outcome is inevitable: the balance will shift soon where there are more voting “takers” than voting “payers”… and the takers will continue to vote for more for themselves until there is nothing more to take.
And they will have voted us all into slavery to the government.
I feel sorry for those who cannot see where their own actions will lead… but they would probably end up in slavery to someone or something anyway. The weak and poor and uninformed, sadly, have been with us for millennia and will always be part of society.
I despise those who take advantage of the weak… the politicians themselves, the special interest groups, and the liars who are simply in it for themselves.
I hate those whose ideology is directly counter to that of our nation’s Constitution and who are consciously subverting it.
I pray for the rest of us… that we take united action now before the scales tip and our country, as we know it, becomes a bittersweet historical anomaly.