Thursday, February 9, 2012

Government Dependence Is Killing America

America is in trouble, that’s clear. Our economy is creaking along and has produced no jobs in a decade. Unemployment is soaring. The middle class is shrinking. Inflation is crushing wages and people on fixed incomes. Our national debt is stifling and our deficit tells us the powers that be are running full speed ahead with the same old dysfunction. Now we have some interesting data from the Heritage Foundation which highlights the greatest threat this country faces. In a word: dependence.

According to the Heritage Foundation, dependence on the federal government rose 23% in the first two years under Obama. That’s the biggest rise since Jimmy Carter. What's worse, almost every year sees a rise, and the cumulative effects are staggering. In the last two years, the number of people dependent on the federal government has risen 7.5% to 67 million people. That means 22% of the population, one in five people, is a ward of the state. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because more than 49% of all Americans, 152 million people, live in a household that gets a check from the government.

Think about that.

Half of all Americans look to the federal government as a source of income, and one in five look to it as their primary source of income. Do you think those people will support cutting government spending? Unlikely. At this point, these people eat up 70% of the federal budget -- they claimed 25% in 1962 and 48% in 1990.

Further, 49.5% of all Americans pay NO income taxes (it was 12% in 1960). Do you think those people have any incentive to stop the growth of government?

America has become a country where the many mooch off the labors of the few. This is a disaster because it gives millions of people a strong incentive to vote to keep taking from the rest. And that is highly destructive to the fabric of the country. Why? Because a culture of dependence is forming where a majority of Americans see the government as provider. They have essentially become useless. . . a drain on society. But they have political power because of their sheer numbers and they have no shame in using the government to steal from everyone else. Essentially, the unproductive are using the force of government to make the productive into their slaves.

This must end and it must end fast because dependence makes people unable and unwilling to change. So long as this continues, these people will entrench themselves further and they will ultimately destroy the country in an orgy of debt.

After I started this article, I ran across an article about Jim DeMint. DeMint is the real intellectual Godfather of the Tea Party and must be credited with shaking Senate Republicans from their slumber. DeMint has put out a new book in which he says what I am saying above:
“Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans to win enough votes to win the presidency and a majority in Congress, and enact policies that might turn our nation around from the imminent threat of fiscal calamity.”
This is a significant point. So long as the GOP lets the Democrats (and fellow Republicans) keep adding people to the government dole, we are making it harder and harder to win future elections. It’s a vicious circle, and it needs to be broken.

Interestingly, when DeMint was asked about the presidential candidates, he deferred, but he made two points very clearly: (1) winning the election trumps everything else because of the need to stop this culture of dependence, and (2) the winner of the primary must adopt/focus on Ron Paul’s ideas of individual liberty, cutting the power of the Federal Reserve, and limited government. Said DeMint:
“If our nominee doesn’t pick up a lot of Ron Paul’s ideas, we’re missing the boat and we’re missing a lot of people who could help us build our party. These are not wild ideas.”
I have to agree. I think that a sane Ron Paul without a surrenderist foreign policy would be an unbeatable Republican candidate in almost any election, and especially in this election. The question is, who is this person? Jim DeMint is about the only name that comes to mind at the moment.

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