This article was shared in the comments by Platypus Club member David Grantham. It points out some data that David called, “staggering”. I have to agree. The article begins with an erroneous claim, “Entitlements are driving deficits and debt. Absent reform, the problem will soon become a crisis.” It is erroneous because it already has become a crisis, in fact, it has long been a crisis but one that we as a nation have ignored. I realize that I am lumping many of you in with that “we” and you are probably saying, “not me! I knew it was a crisis!” I know you did, and many individuals know it too, but that knowledge doesn’t seem to translate to our representatives or neighbors who continue to spend our money taking no heed to where it’s going, how much, or even if it is well spent.
Here is a problem.
What shall we do?
We shall throw money at it.
I feel better now!
Yes, me too now that the problem is solved.
And that’s the tone and tenor of thinking when it comes to so-called entitlements. That’s a name I really hate. No one is entitled to anyone else’s money for something that does not directly benefit that person. For so long (Democrat and Republican share equal ire for this) Congress has spent without thought. Spent in a way that demonstrates a disdain for the taxpayer and a mockery of their position as the budgetary arm of government. How embarrassing they are! How infuriating they are!
The article reads, “Since the end of World War II, federal tax revenue has grown 15% faster than national income—while federal spending has grown 50% faster.” That is staggering!
But if we spend money on the military shouldn’t we also care for the poor and needy?
I don’t know if the answer to that is a resounding “NO” or just a passive “no” but my gut tells me the answer is some sort of negative reply. Charity isn’t taking from one person and giving to another. What the government does isn’t charity – it’s the dole. Charity is when one person willingly gives to another because that other has a need that they wish to alleviate. Charity is an act of love not of force or coercion.
As for military spending, the article explains it this way, “Today, entitlement spending accounts for nearly two-thirds of federal spending. Defense spending still only accounts for about a sixth of the federal budget, even with recent increases.” Turns out that it is entitlement spending that is run amok not military spending. Also is the fact that defense (which is what the military is really for) is the main reason people gather into societies in the first place. I certainly will argue that we do not use our military in a proper fashion much of the time but I will defend having a strong military and spending money on it.
This all leaves us between scylla and charybdis, “Financing this spending will require either record levels of taxation or debt.” That much is an unavoidable fact. Right now we are printing money and forging debt and if Democrats had their way we would be taxing more and more. We are taking Right and Left as it is.
Neither of these solutions is any kind of solution at all, “Economics teaches us that high tax rates reduce economic growth and living standards. History teaches us that high public debt aggravates economic volatility and makes a country’s financial system more prone to crisis.”
The only thing we can do to prevent crisis and literally save our nation from ruin is to end entitlements. No argument about who needs them will matter when our nation fails – and it will fail if we continue. Let them end and let true charity take up the cause. Let people feel good about giving rather than feel robbed by the government and their neighbors.
Also in the comments the wonderful Crystal Gregg noted, “I’d rather people make their own health choices and not try to dictate what they can and can’t have. And I don’t understand why conservatives act like that online when I know for a fact that people donate cake boxes and icing cans to their local food banks.” I thought that was very insightful and certainly true. In fact, having been in a situation to give I have included a treat and thought, “oh, I think they will like this!”
And that is what is so really insightful about Crystal’s comment. When we focus on rights only we can forget charity exists. It’s MY money, I have a RIGHT to say where it is spent. Okay, I will say so. Take away that right, make it an obligation, and the person gets grouchy. That same person, that some money, giving freely, willingly, and happily, takes on a whole new meaning to them. Charity turns “how dare they buy a cake with my money” into “I hope they enjoy this cake that I included in the food box.”
I’m not saying (of course not) that rights are wrong. I’m saying that rights need to be respected by our government and doing so creates a happier society of willing people happy to give.
Any plan other than maximum liberty is doomed to fail. Being forced changes a man. It makes him resentful and angry. It makes him selfish with the things he’s allowed to keep because of the things taken from him. The road to hell really is paved with good intentions and though many people who call for government help have those good intentions we see how they’ve put our nation on the path to the infernal realm. The exact opposite of what we are doing is what we need to be doing.
The federal deficit is big and getting bigger. President Trump’s budget estimates a deficit of nearly $900 billion for 2018 and nearly $1 trillion (with total spending of $4.4 trillion) for 2019. Its balance sheet reveals that the public debt will reach $15.7 trillion by October. This works out to $48,081.61 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. That doesn’t count unfunded liabilities, reported by the Social Security and Medicare Trustees, that are four times the current public debt.
Source: Why America Is Going Broke – WSJ