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Government Handouts and Charity

"The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." —James Madison

"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." —Benjamin Franklin

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To take from one, because it is thought 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 everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." —Thomas Jefferson

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" -- Thomas Jefferson

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere."  -- Thomas Jefferson, writing to Abigail Adams

WO Comment:  All levels of government fail to adhere to Madison's directive that "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."  The method of inquiry used by the scholars of the Enlightenment usually began with "define your terms."  The government apparently has no knowledge of what charity is and what it is not.  And they have not appropriately defined who is responsible for charity and who the recipients of it should be. 

More to come . . .   Notes:

Katrina:  $4.2-billion plan to provide housing for people made homeless by the storm.  The government has actually spent only $27 billion on recovery, and none of it has gone to housing. (only!!!)   ......  outrageous spending patterns, beginning with the ridiculous prices -- far above the price of actual cruises -- the government paid in order to house Katrina refugees aboard cruise ships. Even more outrageous, the reported minimum cost of the trailers intended to be used as temporary housing is $60,000 per unit -- enough to build permanent modular housing. And it has proven extremely difficult to get the trailers to needy evacuees, so that many of them still lie idle. 11,000 UNUSED trailers at airport (fed regs prohibit putting them on flood plain) times $60K each !! / estimated 350 to 800 million dollars on just trailers

Creeping Egalitarianism by Rachel Alexander
The biggest lesson learned in the 20th century was that communism does not work.

Not so sweet charity  by Burt Prelutsky 03/15  The undeserving poor (believe they) deserve to receive their fair share of the pie that society was always prepared to dole out to the deserving poor.  Poverty in this country isn’t a condition, it’s an industry. without the terminally impoverished, many politicians would have nothing to talk about. The truth is, there is nothing sacred about being poor. In a land with as much opportunity as America offers, it’s virtually impossible for a person of average intelligence and even a modicum of ambition, to remain poverty-stricken.  There is an underclass in America consisting of both blacks and whites that, I’m afraid, has been sold a bill of goods by liberals -- and that’s the belief that being poor, lazy and uneducated, constitutes an occupation for which they are entitled to be paid.   

Bush Touts Grants to Religious Charities  Read it here

‘Faith-Based’ Emergency Aid?: Bush Orders Homeland Security To Work With Religious Groups  Americans U. for Sep. of Church and State Blog, 3.9.2006

Federal Faith-Based Funding Rose Sharply in Fiscal 2005
Washington Times, Eric Pfeiffer, 3.10.2006

Socialism, Social Welfare, Government "Charity"  "Enough generations of socialist policies have now passed for us to judge their effects. They are bleak. Socialism undermines the character of a nation and of its citizens. In simpler words, socialism makes people worse... Socialism teaches its citizens to expect everything, even if they contribute nothing. Socialism teaches its citizens that they have a plethora of rights and few corresponding obligations—except to be taxed. And that is why the citizens of less socialist—and more religious—America give more charity per capita and per income than do citizens of socialist countries. That is why Americans volunteer time for the needy so much more than citizens of socialist countries do. That is why citizens of conservative states in America give more charity than citizens of liberal states do. The more Left one identifies oneself on the political spectrum, the more that person is likely to believe that the state, not fellow citizens, should take care of the poor and the needy. Under socialism, one is not only liberated from having to take care of oneself; one is also liberated from having to take care of others. The state will take care of me and of everybody else... The socialist idea sounded altruistic to those who began it, and it sounds altruistic to the naive who believe in it today. In practice, however, it creates self-centered individuals and a narcissistic society. So while it may have begun as a way to help others, it has come to mean a way of evading responsibility for oneself and for others." —Dennis Prager

Federalism vs. States' Rights

Plan B Battles Embroil States
Filling a void left by the Food and Drug Administration's inability to decide whether to make the "morning-after" pill available without a prescription, nearly every state is or soon will be wrestling with legislation that would expand or restrict access to the drug. (By Marc Kaufman, The Washington Post)

WO Comment:  The key phrase is highlighted:  "nearly every state . . . will be wrestling with legislation."  And therein lies the problem.  While many wish to maintain states' rights, at what point does that inhibit efficiency and timeliness in enacting legislation for the common good, achieving "public utility" for all Americans at once, not just those in one state while others must wait for the reinvention of the wheel over and over again fifty times until the good is accomplished in each state?  A look at news headlines indicates that this inefficient, repetitive, and costly procedure is a scenario that is played out for countless issues.  The name of the state in the headline changes many times:  (state) Debating Child Protection Law, (state) Considering Marriage Amendment, (state) Addresses Abortion, (state) Debates Darwin vs. Intelligent Design.  Hundreds of issues addressed fifty different times each is not logical.  It is very costly and, remember, taxpayers foot the bill.  A rational, logical, reasonable, and fair balance between federalism's domains and the rights of states needs to be accomplished.  Otherwise, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," "the common good," and "public utility" are mere words.  The items below illustrate the point made here.  To protect children from sexual predators, obscene materials in public libraries, etc., do we have to go through the motions fifty times?  Once, on the federal level, should be enough.   

WP- States spurred to action on immigration

State legislatures around the nation are considering hundreds of proposals dealing with illegal immigration, reflecting the exasperation of many local officials with Congress's failure to contend with the millions of undocumented workers.  For the most part, the new state measures are designed to crack down on illegal immigrants, on employers who give them jobs and on state officials who give them benefits.  At the same time, though, some states are moving in the other direction -- making life easier for immigrants, legal or otherwise. In April, Nebraska's legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto to offer in-state college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants. Nine other states have formally authorized tuition breaks for undocumented immigrants.  The multi-state approach, with some states at variance with others, threatens to create a maze of laws and regulations at a time when the nation as a whole is struggling with how to contend with an unprecedented wave of illegal immigration. "We're not going to solve this problem with a patchwork approach at the state level. It's a national problem, and the need is to repair the national system," said Josh Bernstein of the National Immigration Law Center.  The National Conference of State Legislatures has tallied 463 bills introduced this year in 43 states. 

Mandatory life, no parole for child molesters?
Monday, December 5, 2005 by Diana Lynne -- Amid increasing evidence that child molesters are sexual predators for life,
Florida lawmakers are considering life for sexual predators. State Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, hopes to seize the opportunity of a special legislative session.

Laws to protect children from obscene material

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill designed to protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit library books. Sponsored by Representative Sally Kern, the bill passed by 60-33, and it now heads to the Senate. Liberty Counsel consulted with Rep. Kern regarding the language of HB 2158.  House Bill 2158 states: “The Oklahoma Department of Libraries Board shall not grant or distribute any state funds that are allocated to libraries on a formula basis to any library, library district, or library system unless the library has taken action to place all children and young adult materials that contain homosexual or sexually explicit subject matter in a special area of the library which is separate and apart from the children and young adult sections of the library and the library has a policy in place to limit distribution of the material to adults only.”

WO Comment:  A reasonable law.  Notice that it is one sentence.  One sentence is all it takes to enact legislation to protect children.  Again, it will have to be repeated 50 times before children nationwide are protected in this way.  We need more federal legislation addressing these issues, not state by state.

Many States Continue Fighting to Outlaw Abortion
Citizen Link, 5.8.2006




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Home About WO Enlightenment US Foundations News/Research News/Opinion WO Advocates Forums & Blogs Take Action WO Contents

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