There is no doubt that America is becoming the land of government handouts and entitlements. The Democrats have long believed that they can enslave the American people by making them dependent upon the government for their survival rather than to depend upon themselves.
But the problem of government handouts is not a new problem as Benjamin Franklin wrote about welfare back during the foundation of America.
“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 Six days shalt thou labor, thought one on the oldest commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more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.]
When I read the words of Franklin written nearly 250 years ago, I could swear he was writing about America today. He described what is happening with amazing clarity.
However, it appears that our government, over the past 100 years, has forgotten Franklin’s warnings and instructions. He told us then that the more the government hands out, the more dependent the people will become and instead of actually helping the poor, we end up locking them into the system and creating more poor.
Today, under President Barack Obama’s three and half years of policy, the number of Americans classified as living at or below the poverty level has drastically increased. Part of that is due to the struggling economy while the rest is due to all of the government handouts that go to the poor, the elderly, American Indians and illegal aliens.
I use to know an elderly man who lived on an Indian reservation not far from the Mesa-Phoenix metropolitan area. He told me that ever since the large gambling casino was built on reservation land, that the violence and domestic crimes on the reservation had sky rocketed. He explained that every full blooded Indian living on the reservation received a quarterly check from the casino as part of the agreement to allow it on the reservation. Then he showed me his one quarterly check and it was for $16,000. He said the amounts vary, but that this was around the average. As a result of the ‘free’ money which totaled over $60,000 a year, there was no incentive for the young people to go to school or get a job. Consequently, the rates of alcoholism, domestic violence, and sexual assaults had drastically increased because they have nothing else to do.
The same thing seems to hold true in many poor city communities which is why so many young people get involved in gangs, drugs and crime.
A friend of ours posted something on his Facebook page that I thought spoke volumes to the wisdom of government handouts. It was the image of a small newspaper editorial that someone tore out of the paper. After a little research, I found the editorial was published by the Miller County Liberal on June 13, 2012. It was submitted by Billy Fleming and reads:
“The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to ‘Please Do Not Feed the Animals. Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves. This ends today’s lesson.’”
I don’t think I could have said it better myself. Perhaps Fleming is right on and the National Park Service should take over the Food Stamp program and run it like they do their parks and not keep providing free meals to so many.