Forty-million Americans are on food stamps, 26 million more than in 2007 before Obama was elected. The cost to government is $77 million, and FBI Reports show there is a huge increase on abuse of the system; along with abuse of other programs like Medicare by medical practitioners. Presently there are 70 programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to low-income persons. The total cost is almost $1 trillion.
Adjusted for inflation, welfare spending is 13 times higher today than it was in 1965, when Washington launched the War on Poverty [President Lyndon Johnson]. Yet the proportion of people living in poverty remains essentially unchanged.
History and statistics show that poverty declined by 12% for ten years and rose 15% when the Democrats declared 'War on Poverty'. The Founders recognized that there was a need, an obligation to help people help themselves when tragedy caused people to fall into economic ruin or became too ill to work.
John Locke wrote:
The law of nature teaches not only self-preservation but also preservation of others, when one's own preservation comes into competition.
In the early days of the American Republic, local governments assumed that responsibility, not the federal, central government. Indeed, the federal government paid attention to the limitations prescribed in the articles of the Constitution.
But the Founders also saw the danger of being overly generous when it comes to welfare policy. Once the people got a taste of what government, those that operated it, had to offer – their behavior became increasingly irresponsible to the point that welfare was not just for emergency situations but a right.
The TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) encourages people to get back on track and become self-reliant; while the other 69 social programs encourage irresponsible behavior.
People have been caught selling their food share cards on Facebook and then falsely reporting cards to be lost. Lottery winners who won millions of dollars continued to use food share cards, as well as prison inmates.
Benjamin Franklin noticed while living in Europe in the 1760s that:
...in different countries ...the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Thomas Jefferson wrote:
They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose. To consider the latter phrase not as describing the purpose of the first, but as giving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless.
Society began to make it a habit, in choosing candidates for office, to elect government officials who promised to provide more 'free stuff'. The reality is that nothing in life is free – it costs somebody something.
Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.
I realize that the economy and the unemployment rate determine how many citizens must resort to social programs, but the system has been plagued with abuse and outright fraud – which elevates the total cost even more.
The Democrat Party began establishing that our form of government was a democracy when Woodrow Wilson was president -incorporated into school textbooks. That was not what the Founding architects of our government system had in mind.
Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish lawyer and professor (1747-1813), wrote:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Joseph Milligan in 1816:
To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it. [Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 14:466]
Thomas Jefferson wrote and believed that a government that took from the wealthy and distributed it to the poor was not only wrong, but criminal. The Democrat Party in its zeal to adopt socialism has been redistributing wealth and income for decades, the most obvious being the income tax system that Congress has refused to dissolve and replace it with a consumption flat-rate tax. In that way, everyone pays the same tax rate and those that can afford to purchase more will automatically pay more in taxes. Frankly, this was a tax system that the Founders generally approved. According to their writings, the Founders would have shot down the idea of income tax, especially being forced from wages and salaries before people had the opportunity to decide how to spend or invest it.
Milton Friedman had a method to solve that problem. Government should not ever be in the business of using taxpayer funding for charity, that is where private organizations like the Salvation Army and churches play a part. Neighbors in a community can also be of help, if they can.
In this, our society has degraded by allowing our government, those we elect, to ignore constitutional law and the intent of the Founders.
The welfare system is not only inefficient, but selective. Congress will approve funding for other nations and its people, but will make cuts of benefits for veterans who served their country by congressional approval. The government will cut its own national defense measures and armed forces capabilities, but continue to arm and support other nations.
We are protecting the border between North and South Korea, while our southern border is unsecured and allowing the invasion of illegal aliens in the millions. The only reason why those we elect are not taking our national security is strictly political. The same goes for the amnesty of illegal alien invader lawbreakers – it is a quest for more votes of a given political party. Those same invaders are provided the same welfare benefits afforded legal citizens, which makes it more costly and more insane. Politicians claim that it is humane, but reality and facts show it is insane and a path towards self-destruction.
Many Americans are speaking out and saying that our government requires reform, and they are correct; but they also must realize that our society must also reform itself in order for that to become a reality.