Are you happy now?
There are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in U.S. history. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government. Many are enrolled in more than one. That is about a third of the entire population of the country. Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare. Today the federal government runs almost 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years. Yes, we will always need a “safety net” for those that cannot take care of themselves, but it is absolutely ridiculous that the federal government is financially supporting one-third of all Americans. How much farther do things really need to go before we finally admit that we have become a socialist nation? At the rate we are going, it will not be too long before half the nation is on welfare. Unfortunately, we will likely never get to that point because the gigantic debt that we are currently running up will probably destroy our financial system before that ever happens. – The American Dream
You got your free cell phones, free food stamps, free transportation, free education, free clothes, section 8 housing vouchers for $25.00 a month. You got your utility bills subsidized. You got your free Medicare, Medicaid, and the Supreme Court even said it’s legal for the Government to just go ahead and take over the whole health care industry and give it all to you for free. Free free free free. Everything is free. Isn’t all this freedom nice? Is this what it means to be free and live in a free country?
If the dream is won
Though everything is lost
We will pay the price
But we will not count the cost – Rush
Low price – high cost.
It is time for a basic Civics lesson:
At the end of The Federalist 55, James Madison observed that “republican government presupposes the existence of [civic virtue] in a higher degree than any other form.” The American Founders understood that political freedom requires a limited government—that is, government should leave people alone, for the most part, in their private associations such as family, religion, and business. But the Founders also understood that limited government is risky: When people are left alone, they might use that freedom to violate the rights of others; or they might simply live irresponsibly, depending on others with money and resources to care for them. Thus limited government requires certain kinds of civic virtue, no less than political freedom requires limited government.
George Washington in many ways was, and remains, the model of what it means to be an American citizen. He embodied the civic virtues that Madison described as indispensable for a self-governing republic. These virtues can be divided into four categories:
…As Madison wrote in Federalist 51. “A dependence on the people is no doubt the primary control on the government.” The primary responsibility for keeping American government within the confines of the Constitution, and therefore protecting the liberty of the American people, belongs to the American people themselves. Or, as Ben Franklin once quipped, the Americans have been blessed with a wise and free republican form of government, “if they can keep it!”
…In his First Annual Address to Congress, President George Washington said that the people must be taught to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority…to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness – cherishing the first, avoiding the last; and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments, with inviolable respect to the laws.
…Washington and the other founders knew that for citizens to live in a free society with limited government, each citizen must be able to control or restrain himself; otherwise, we would need a police state—that is, a large, unlimited government—to maintain safety and order.
In his First Inaugural Address, Washington said, “the foundation of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality….” He continued by saying, “there is no truth more thoroughly established that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.”
“The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of right and order, which heaven itself has ordained….” Given all the freedom that comes with a limited government, a people that live rightly and virtuously will probably end up living happily with all the goods, material and otherwise, that make the difference between living and living well. If a people violate the “rules of right and order which heaven has ordained,” they will probably end up living unhappily, with little to ease their misery.
If you are one of the 100 million of us on some form of welfare, you may think everything is just fine now. You can’t see your unease and misery coming, and it is coming soon.
There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas
The trouble with the maples
(And they’re quite convinced they’re right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can’t help their feelings
If they like the way they’re made
And they wonder why the maples
Can’t be happy in their shade
There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream ‘Oppression!’
And the oaks just shake their heads
So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
‘The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light’
Now there’s no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw – Rush
“What really interests me about the fact that the quarreling trees are cut down in the end “by hatchet, ax, and saw” is that the handles of these tools are usually made of *wood*: the trees provided the tools for their own destruction.” – Kate, Albany, NY
If you are one of the 100 million of us on some form of welfare; are you paying the price and not counting the cost? You are supplying them with everything they need to destroy you. What will you do when they take away your benefits? What will you do when they not only deny you that life-saving prescription or procedure, but also not allow you to pay for it either? What will you do when they force you to take a life-threatening medication or undergo a procedure that you don’t want?
Maybe you should look a gift horse in the mouth.
In addition to civic knowledge, self-restraint, and self-assertion, citizens must possess the civic virtue of self-reliance. In order to be truly free, citizens must be able to provide the basic necessities of life for themselves and their families. Citizens who cannot provide for themselves will need a large government to take care of them. And as soon as citizens become dependent on government for their basic needs, the people are no longer in a position to demand that government stay limited within the confines of the Constitution. Self-reliant citizens are free citizens in the sense that they are not dependent on others for their basic needs. They do not need a large provider-government, which has the potential to become an intrusive or oppressive government, to meet those needs.
George Washington understood the need for citizens to be self-reliant. In a letter to a recent immigrant, Washington wrote of the benefits available in America to self-reliant, virtuous citizens: “This country certainly promises greater advantages, than almost any other, to persons of moderate property, who are determined to be sober, industrious, and virtuous members of society.” Washington knew, and our national experience has shown, that only a strong self-reliant citizenry is able to fully enjoy the blessings of liberty. – George Washington and Civic Virtue
I don’t want to live like the trees. If we allow the Government to force equal outcomes in all aspects of our lives, then how can anyone flourish and prosper?
Charity is best done by generous people with soft hearts who love humanity, not philanthropic misanthropes. If those people aren’t allowed blessings and success; they’ll be unable to help anyone else.
If we were all self-reliant, living sober, industrious, with virtue and restraint; we wouldn’t need charity or welfare.
Freedom isn’t free, but it doesn’t cost much. Even if you die fighting for it; it is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
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August 17, 2012 | Categories: 2012 Election, capitalism, conservative, freedom, Health, independence, individual sovereignty, liberty, News, Politics, socialism | Tags: 100 million americans on welfare, Civic virtue, George Washington, James Madison, Survey of Income and Program Participation, Welfare | 3 Comments