California has been fighting one of the largest deficits of any state in the country. They’ve raised taxes on so many things so many times that it’s hard to keep track of them all and yet they can’t pay their bills. They’ve even passed their own state cap and trade laws in hopes of generating more revenue and cleaning up the air, but it seems it has resulted in a mass exodus of businesses, which in the end could mean even less revenue for the struggling state.
In a clear demonstration of just how fiscally responsible California’s liberal Democrats are, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) just introduced AB 1516 which wants to use $100 million of taxpayer money to provide $80 a month of free diapers to poor families. Gonzalez explains:
“When you have an identifiable problem preventing women from self-sufficiency and there is an identifiable barrier, shouldn’t we help that along when we can? To be quite frank, I am delighted but a little surprised that we’ve gotten it this far.”
This is typical Democratic policy in continually giving to the poor without really trying to help them learn to fend for themselves. Randy Thomasson, President of SaveCalifornia.com believes that there should be some fiscally responsible requirements attached to the measure before just giving more tax dollars away. He explained to OneNewsNow:
“If disposable diapers are a necessity, wouldn’t it be more loving for these young mothers – who say they want to get off welfare and become responsible – to show a budget demonstrating that they’re not placing entertainment, fast food, or other wants before needs? And what’s to stop outright fraud of the diaper money?”
“Of course, big government can’t love and can’t provide accountability like churches and private organizations can.”
“I’m concerned this Democrat bill will keep welfare moms dependent on government, especially since they would receive $80 every month in taxpayer-subsidized diaper money on top of ‘free’ government childcare. Government dependency grows when personal responsibility shrinks.”
Giving blindly to the poor is not a solution to fight poverty, it only encourages it and this is not something new to our time. Nearly 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin addressed the issue of giving to the poor, writing:
“In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries that the more the public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provision are established for them (as in England); so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many almshouses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful? And do they use their best endeavors to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burden? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, but giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness.”
“In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase in poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. Saint Monday and Saint Tuesday will soon cease to be holidays. Six days shalt thou labor, thought one on the oldest commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” [The Real Benjamin Franklin: Part II: Timeless Treasures from Benjamin Franklin, Prepared by W. Cleon Skousen and M. Richard Maxfield. National Center for Constitutional Studies, 2008, Pp 453-4.]
Obviously liberal Democrats like Gonzalez, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Waters and many others have never read Franklin’s words. If they did, they chose to ignore them. We need to take his words and put them into action. Then and only then will there be any chance of truly helping people overcome being poor and dependent on others.