Quite frequently, when this topic comes up, many Americans, rightly, will say, “we paid into these programs, and we are entitled to the benefits.” I totally agree with that sentiment. Millions of Americans, over several decades, have paid into these programs, which I, often, refer to as Debticare, and Social Insecurity; I refer to them as such, because, anyone who is even minimally engaged in politics, these days, understands that both of these programs are bankrupt, and unfunded to the tune of trillions (with a T) of dollars. And, while people did pay into them, and they are entitled to the benefits, it does not excuse away the fact that these programs have become an enormous burden to the tax payers, and, will eventually bankrupt our Federal Government. Serious reforms need to be put in place, which should involve free-market forces, and the ability for Americans to opt/out of these programs, so that they can use that money to manage their own healthcare and retirement accounts.
Putting aside the obvious economic problems with these two BIG GOVERNMENT programs, there are, however, huge moral questions, as well, tied to them. For example, if one refers to these so-called entitlement programs as welfare, many people get up in arms, due to the aforementioned reason, that, over several decades, Americans have paid into these programs; and, today, when one thinks of the word welfare, they tend to think of it as “free” tax payer money that is given to people who have not paid into a program, or people “who choose not to work,” but collect Government benefits, at the expense of the tax payer.
1. The good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.
Traditionally, the word Welfare, as in The General Welfare Clause, in Article 1, Section 8, of The United States Constitution, was understood to be similar to the above definition. For example, our military was created to look after the welfare of our country, should we be invaded by a foreign aggressor. Congress was empowered by our Founders to create laws governing Patents and Copyrights, so that inventors, artists etc, could create products, works of art etc, and have such creations and inventions protected by Law. Congress was also given the Power to create Laws governing bankruptcy – should a business or family get overextended, and unable to pay their debts, an independent court could help them to discharge that debt, and begin anew. Congress was instructed to create a sound currency system, and facilitate free trade among the several states. These are but a few examples of what was meant by Welfare in the days of our Founders, and for many years thereafter.
When it comes to Government, most citizens, I believe, would “consent” to the fact that Government does have core duties that are geared toward the Public’s General Welfare – such as having a court system; adjudicating contracts; a reasonably small police force; a fire department etc. But, when The General Welfare of citizens extends to a person’s financial well-being, their healthcare etc, this is the realm in which the contention begins.
While, for most seniors, Government did not provide the money for their Social Security and Medicare, such programs do put the citizen’s “well-being,” squarely, in the hands of The Government. The U.S. Government, under these programs, can decide how much money a senior can receive each month; and what age they need to be, in order to just begin receiving “their money.” They can decide what medical care, and medications, a senior can have access to; and, how much of the respective services will be paid for. And, so on.
When we, as citizens, give our Government, whether it is State of Federal, such Power over the most intimate decisions of our lives, the fact that we paid for such services does not diminish the fact that our [welfare] well-being lies, “squarely,” in the hands of Government.
Why Social Security Is Worse Than A Ponzi Scheme
Posted, originally at The Original Republican